Ragan Sutterfield interviews Christian Wiman, poet and author of the new book:
Christian Wiman grew up steeped in the Christian culture of West Texas, but left that faith when he went to college and entered into a literary world where Christianity no longer seemed to make sense. He excelled as a poet and eventually became editor of Poetry Magazine, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journal of verse. Faith found its way back into his life through finding love and his diagnosis with a rare chronic cancer. His new book My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer is both the story of his return to Christianity and a beautiful mix of poetry and meditations on the experience of faith in this time and culture. I talked with Wiman about his book and the questions explored there.
RS: I was struck by a statement in Adam Kirsch’s review of your book in the New Yorker. He said that, “To argue for faith, at least in the twenty-first century, is already to lose the argument. What believers can give nonbelievers is an account of what it means to live in faith – not a polemic but a description, a confession, a kind of poem.” What is your take on that statement and how did that reality play out for you in writing My Bright Abyss?