Photo: Dale Robbins

Christian Wiman


Since 2003, Christian Wiman has been the editor of Poetry Magazine, the oldest American magazine of verse. Under Wiman’s  leadership, Poetry was honored with two prestigious National Magazine Awards in 2011. Wiman’s own acclaimed writing over the last several years has been largely influenced by his diagnosis in 2005 with a rare and incurable blood cancer, and has increasingly moved toward exploring complex issues of religious faith and mortality.

Born in 1966, Wiman is a native of West Texas , and graduated from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. For years he traveled the world – from Guatemala to the Czech Republic – devoting himself to the craft of poetry. He later became the Jones lecturer of poetry at Stanford University, a visiting lecturer at the Yale Divinity School, and also taught at Northwestern University and the Prague School of Economics.

Wiman is the author of three well-received books of poetry, most recently Every Riven Thing, which The New Yorker ranked among the best poetry collections of 2010. Poet Richard Wilbur has said Wiman’s poems have the “singular power to bring about mergings of consciousness with the surround.” Wiman has also published a book of essays, Ambition and Survival:  Becoming a Poet, and has an upcoming collection of translations of Osip Mandelstam called Stolen Air to be published in March 2012. In 2013 he will publish My Bright Abyss:  Meditations of a Modern Believer.  Wiman’s work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The American Scholar, and The New York Times Book Review.

Critic Clive James has noted, “The best thing about Christian Wiman is not that he reminds you of previous poets; it’s that he makes you forget them.”