Poetry and Faith Reading Series
Poetry has always played a central role in the Catholic imagination. From the psalms to St. John of the Cross to the liturgies that make up our rites and rituals, poetic language expresses fundamental truths about who God is, who we are in relation to him, and what it is like to inhabit the world as His creatures. Poetry both forms our faith and forms us in that faith.
Can contemporary poetry help awaken the senses to the beauty and mystery of faith in way that ideas cannot? Does poetry communicate with a non-religious audience in ways that open up the possibility of faith? Join St. Gregory's Hall for a poetry reading series exploring the role of Catholicism in the work of contemporary poetry.
"The Catholic Poet" with Peter O'Leary
Wednesday, October 4, 7:00 p.m.
Monsignor Klasen Memorial Building, First Floor Classroom
1609 W Gregory St, Chicago, IL
In this talk and reading, poet and scholar Peter O’Leary will present a glimpse of what it has meant over the past thirty-five years for him to have been both Catholic and poet, considering both in the way faith and art have placed him in the order of signs.
By his own admission, Peter O’Leary writes “obscure religious poetry,” reflecting vocations to both religion and literature that have committed him to what St. Bonaventure called the “journey of the mind to God.” He received a doctorate from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago where he studied religious poetry of the twentieth century. He has written several books, most recently The Hidden Eyes of Things, a book-length poem about the unconscious, and Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age, a critical study of modern and contemporary religious poets. He has also co-authored the three most recent editions of Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word. In addition to serving as a lector and catechist, he teaches courses in religion and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives in Oak Park and edits Verge Books, a small poetry press.
Wednesday, November 8