Christian Wiman’s poems of love and doubt

Massive struggle, intense suffering, and abundant joy

The expression of doubt can be a refreshing alternative to most contemporary poets’ disregard for issues of faith. For Christian Wiman, doubt has not quite solidified into unbelief, which means his poems are saturated with the largest questions one can ask.

A former editor of Poetry magazine, current professor of religion and literature at Yale Divinity School, and author of two memoirs and numerous books of poetry, Wiman combines devotion to the poetic craft with a hunger for God’s presence and a skepticism about traditional means of satisfying that hunger.

Raised in rural Texas, he quickly outgrew the fundamentalism that permeated his early years. Only later, after falling in love and being diagnosed with cancer, did he return—not to the narrow world of his early religious experience but to a faith (which he calls love) that not only allowed his questions but embraced them as a sign of spiritual life.