The Center for Faith & Work is pleased and honored to announce our inaugural Artist Fellowship to world-renowned poet Christian Wiman. CFW's Artist Fellowship will be periodically awarded to artists that have established an extensive body of work with notable contributions to their field. It is created with the flexibility to supply a range of resources for established artists in the later stages of their career.
Wiman's fellowship will culminate with a reading of his work, dealing with the theme of calling, in an event hosted by CFW onSaturday January 28th. In addition, Wiman will be hosting a hands-on CFW workshop that utilizes poetry to illuminate faith, and visa versa, for artists and non-artists, that same day.
"Of the artists to contribute to the complex and vital integration of contemporary faith and work, there are few better working wordsmiths than poet Christian Wiman," writes CFW executive director David Kim. "What Wiman offers his audience is a beautifully blurred boundary between the immanent and transcendent, between the personal and the remote. His critically-acclaimed body of work expresses a depth of spiritual insight that will feed many for decades to come. We are thrilled to offer him our very first Artist Fellowship and support his writing even further."
"By creating this fellowship, CFW has made a powerful statement about the deep connection between art and faith," says Wiman. "I'm delighted to see a church reaching out to the arts in this way, and honored to be involved."
Christian Wiman is the author, editor, or translator of ten books, including Hammer is the Prayer: Selected Poems (FSG, 2016), My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (FSG, 2013), andStolen Air: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam(HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012).
Of his work as a whole, Marilynne Robinson writes, “His poetry and scholarship have a purifying urgency that is rare in this world. This puts him at the very source of theology, and enables him to say new things in timeless language, so that the reader’s surprise and assent are one and the same.”
Mr. Wiman has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic Monthly, and numerous other publications. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow and holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters from North Central College. His particular interests include modern poetry, the language of faith, “accidental” theology (that is, theology conducted by unexpected means), and what it means to be a Christian intellectual in a secular culture.
Mr. Wiman has been a Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford and a visiting assistant professor of English at Northwestern, and for three years he served as Visiting Scholar at Lynchburg College in Virginia. From 2003 until 2013 he was the editor of Poetry magazine, the premiere magazine for poetry in the English-speaking world. During that time the magazine’s circulation tripled, and it garnered two National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. For the magazine’s centennial year, Mr. Wiman edited, with Don Share, The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Structured to contrast CFW's Artist-in-Residence program, which spans a 6-week term, CFW's Artist Fellowship lends support for an unfixed amount of time, fostering an ongoing relationship with an established artist of note.
Stay tuned for ongoing opportunities to interact with Wiman's work, as well as upcoming CFW's arts events.