Penny's poetry pages Wiki

Christian Wiman in 2013. Courtesy the Tamed Cynic.

Christian Wiman (born 1966) is an American poet, editor, and academic.


Wiman was born and raised in West Texas.

He graduated from Washington and Lee University.

He has taught at Northwestern University, Stanford University, Lynchburg College in Virginia, and the Prague School of Economics.

Wiman lives in Chicago. In 2003 he became editor of the oldest American magazine of verse, Chicago-based Poetry.[1]

His poems, criticism, and personal essays appear widely in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The New York Times Book Review. and The New Yorker.[2]


Clive James describes Wiman’s poems as being “insistent on being read aloud, in a way that so much from America is determined not to be. His rhymes and line-turnovers are all carefully placed to intensify the speech rhythms, making everything dramatic: not shoutingly so, but with a steady voice that tells an ideal story every time.”[3]

Wiman's non-fiction book Ambition and Survival: Becoming a poet [4] was reviewed by the New York Times Sunday Book Review, which called it "a collection of personal essays and critical prose on a wide range of subjects: reading Paradise Lost in Guatemala, recalling violent episodes from the poet's youth, traveling in Africa with an eccentric father, as well as a series of penetrating essays on poets, poetry, and poetry's place in our lives. The book concludes with a portrait of Wiman's diagnosis with a rare cancer, and a clear-eyed declaration of what it means — for an artist and a person — to have faith in the face of death."[5]


His debut collection of poetry, The Long Home, won the Nicholas Roerich Prize.[6]

His 2010 book, Every Riven Thing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), was chosen by poet and critic Dan Chiasson as one of the best poetry books of the year.[6]



  • The Long Home. Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 1998; Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2007.
  • Hard Night. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2005.
  • Every Riven Thing. New York: Farrar, Straus, 2010.
  • Once in the West. New York: Farrar, Straus, 2014.


  • Ambition and Survival: Essays. Omaha, NE: Zoo Press, 2004.
  • Ambition and Survival: Becoming a poet. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2007.
  • My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a modern believer. New York: Farrar, Straus, 2013.


  • Osip Mandlestam, Stolen Air: Selected poems (translated with Ilya Kaminsky). New York: Ecco, 2012.



Christian Wiman poetry reading at WCU Poetry Conference Part 1

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

See also[]



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