Conference Speakers

Angela Alaimo O'Donnell is the Associate Director of Fordham University’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies and teaches courses in English and in American Catholic Studies. She is also a former columnist and regular contributor to America magazine. O’Donnell has published five collections of poems: Still Pilgrim (2017), Lovers’ Almanac (2015), Waking My Mother (2013), Saint Sinatra (2011), Moving House (2009), and two chapbooks MINE (2007) and Waiting for Ecstasy (2009). Other titles include The Province of Joy (2012), a book of hours based on the prayer life of Flannery O’Connor; Mortal Blessings (2014), a memoir and meditation on everyday sacraments; and Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith (2015), a critical biography and introduction to O’Connor’s work. In addition to writing poems, O’Donnell writes essays on contemporary writers and that engage literature and art in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Her essays and reviews have appeared in journals such as America, Commonweal, Mezzo Cammin, Studies in Philology, Spiritus, and Christianity & Literature and have been included in a variety of collections and anthologies, including The Catholic Studies Reader (Fordham UP, 2011) and Teaching the Tradition (Oxford UP, 2012). O’Donnell’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Best of the Web award, the Christianity and Literature Best of the Year Award, and the Arlin G. Meyer Prize in Imaginative Writing; her memoir and biography of O’Connor won best book awards from the Catholic Press Association, and she received the New York Encounter poetry prize in 2019. Two new books are forthcoming in spring 2020: a critical study of Flannery O’Connor and race, and Andalusian Hours, a collection of 101 sonnets that channel the voice of Flannery O’Connor (Paraclete 2020).
Mike Aquilina is the author of more than fifty books, including Terms and Conditions (Serif Press, 2014), a collection of poems. He has hosted eleven network television series and two documentary films. Mike is executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and a contributing editor to Angelus News. He writes songs with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Dion DiMucci. His musical work has been recorded and performed by Dion, Paul Simon, Christy Altomare, and others. He and his wife, Terri, are parents to six and grandparents, too.
Francisco Aragón is the author of two books of poetry: Puerta del Sol (Bilingual Press) and Glow of Our Sweat (Scapegoat Press), as well as the editor of the award-winning anthology, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press). His third full-length book of poetry, After Rubén, is forthcoming in 2020 with Red Hen Press. Among his distinctions are: “Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Arts, Literary Arts and Publications Award given by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), as well as being a finalist for the Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism. He has performed his poetry widely at universities, galleries, bookstores, and festivals, including the Dodge Poetry Festival. He is on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), where he directs Letras Latinas, the ILS’ literary initiative, and teaches courses in Latinx poetry and creative writing. A native of San Francisco, CA, he divides his time between South Bend, IN and the Washington, D.C. area.
Jill Peláez Baumgaerter is the author of five collections of poetry, a textbook/anthology, Poetry, and Flannery O’Connor:  A Proper Scaring, in addition to over forty essays.  She also edited the poetry anthology, Imago Dei.  She has been a Fulbright scholar and is the winner of several poetry awards.  She is Professor of English Emerita and former Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies at Wheaton College (IL). She currently serves as poetry editor of The Christian Century.
A native of Michigan and residing in Los Angeles, T.J. Berden has Chicago to thank for his love of film. After graduating Loyola University Chicago, T.J. moved to Hollywood as an an intern at Act One and then worked  as a marketing and PR consultant on speciality films such as Expelled, The Stoning of Soraya M., Waiting for “Superman”, and The Tree of Life. Using his expertise in film, he began to working with non-profit organizations, such as Word on Fire, Magnificat Foundation and The Cor Project helping them develop more dynamic approaches to marketing and branding, via events at The Christ Cathedral in the O.C., books published via Random House, as well as digital design and marketing. In 2014, T.J. was connected back to the Chicago scene through ODB Films, producing Full of Grace as well as 2018’s Sony Pictures release of Paul, Apostle of Christ for which T.J. served as lead producer.
Tim Bete is the poetry editor of the Catholic Poetry Room at and a former editor at While at the University of Dayton, he served as director of the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, which he grew from a local event to a national one that regularly sells out in 10 hours with over 400 attendees. Tim is a former magazine editor and newspaper columnist, whose writing has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Writer’s Digest, Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry and Tenkara Angler. His latest poetry collection, Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim, quickly became a #1 Amazon best seller. Tim holds the distinction of creating the World’s Longest Mad Lib, based on the novel Moby Dick.  He is a Secular Carmelite and particularly interested in the connection between contemplative prayer and poetry. You can learn more about him at
Ed Block was born in Wisconsin and grew up in St. Paul, MN. He attended seminary high school and graduated from St. Thomas College, attending Stanford University on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, where he earned his Ph.D. in English and comparative literature. After two years at Oregon State University, he returned to the Midwest and taught at Marquette University for thirty-five years, before retiring as emeritus professor in 2012. After teaching the Jon Hassler’s almost-classic first novel, Staggerford, he invited the authore to do a reading at Marquette in 1996. His Jon Hassler – Voice of the Heartland, among other articles and essays on Hassler, appeared in June, 2019. Besides numerous academic articles, his interviews, essays, reviews and short stories have appeared in America, Image, Logos, U.S. Catholic, St. Anthony Messenger, and other journals. He has published two poetry collections, Anno Domini, and Seasons of Change.  Ed and his wife live in Greendale, WI, where he continues to write, tend his garden, and visit old friends in Minnesota.
Randy Boyagoda is the author of three novels. His latest, Original Prin, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book of 2018 and is the first of a planned trilogy. He is Principal and Vice-President of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, where he is also Professor of English and holds the Basilian Chair in Christianity, Arts, and Letters. He contributes essays, reviews, and opinions to publications including The New York Times, Guardian, Commonweal, and America. A former President of PEN Canada, he is Chair of 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury and lives in Toronto with his wife and their four daughters. 
Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.D. is Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown University, and holds an appointment in the Department of English. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Fr. Bosco joined Georgetown after fourteen years at Loyola University Chicago, where he was a tenured faculty member with a joint appointment in the Departments of Theology and English. From 2012-2017, he also served as Director of The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola. As a scholar, Fr. Bosco has focused much of his work on the intersection of theology and art—specifically, the British and American Catholic literary traditions. He has published on a number of authors, including the writers Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor, and the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. Additionally, he and his colleague Elizabeth Coffman co-produced and co-directed the film Flannery, which was awarded an NEH Grant.
Joseph A. Brown, S. J., Ph.D. holds degrees from St. Louis University (B.A., Philosophy & Letters), Johns Hopkins University (M.A., The Writing Seminars), and Yale University (M.A., Afro-American Studies and Ph. D., American Studies). He has taught at Creighton University, the University of Virginia, Xavier University of New Orleans, and is currently Professor of Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of Accidental Grace (poetry; 1986), A Retreat with Thea Bowman and Bede Abram: Leaning on the Lord (1997), To Stand on the Rock: Meditations on Black Catholic Identity (1996), Sweet, Sweet Spirit: Prayer Services in the Black Catholic Tradition (with the assistance of Bishop Fernand Cheri, OFM/2006), and The Sun Whispers, Wait: New and Collected Poems (2009). He is also founding Chair of the 1917 Centennial Commission and Cultural Initiative, which is charged with presenting events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the “1917 East St. Louis ‘Race Riots’”.
Molly McCully Brown is the author of The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017. A collection of essays and a collaborative collection of poems titled In The Field Between Us, co-authored with Susannah Nevison, are both forthcoming from Persea Books in 2020. Brown has been the recipient of fellowships from United States Artists, The Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the Oxford American. Her poems and essays have appeared in Tin House, The New York Times, Crazyhorse, Pleiades, Blackbird, and elsewhere. The recipient of the 2018-2019 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, she teaches at Kenyon College, where she is a Kenyon Review Fellow.
Kevin F. Burke, S.J., one of ten children in a sheep-and-cattle ranching family in Central Wyoming, entered the Society of Jesus in 1976. Ordained a priest in 1986, he finished a doctorate in theology in 1998 and taught for nine years at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA (1997-2006)) and for eleven years at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA (2006-17), where he also served as Dean and Acting President (2006-12). Author or editor of seven books, including The Ground beneath the Cross: The Theology of Ignacio Ellacuría (2000) and A Grammar of Justice: The Legacy of Ignacio Ellacuría (2014), he also edited Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings (2004) and, with his sister, Dr. Eileen Burke-Sullivan, authored The Ignatian Tradition (2009). He currently serves as Vice-President for University Mission at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and is writing a book on the theological vision of Denise Levertov.
Una Cadegan is associate professor of history at the University of Dayton. She teaches U.S. history (sometimes) and (most often) an all-consuming year-long team-taught interdisciplinary first-year course that includes history, philosophy, theology, and English composition from the ancient world to the day before yesterday. She holds an A.M. and a Ph.D. in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of Roman Catholicism, especially the literary and print culture of the 20th-century U.S. She is the author of All Good Books Are Catholic Books: Print Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America (Cornell University Press, 2013). A participant in the first Collegium in 1993, since has since served as a mentor three times (four including this one). Since the late 1980s she has been active at the University of Dayton in faculty development aimed at engaging Catholic intellectual tradition, and continues to have as much fun as ever.
Liam Callanan, a novelist, teacher and journalist, was the 2017 winner (in fiction) of The George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters. Liam is the author of four books, including the story collection Listen, the novel All Saints, the novel The Cloud Atlas, an Edgar Award finalist and Paris by the Book, a national bestseller which was translated into multiple languages and was the 2019 winner of the Edna Ferber Prize. Liam’s work has also appeared in Commonweal, AmericaThe Wall Street Journal, Slate, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere, and he has recorded numerous essays for public radio.  Executive producer and creator of the Poetry Foundation-sponsored animated poetry series, Poetry Everywhere, Liam has also taught for the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and chaired the English department at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.
Katy Carl is the editor in chief of Dappled Things—a magazine of ideas, art, and Catholic faith—and a writer of both fiction and nonfiction.
Anne M. Carpenter is an Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Mary’s College of California. She has written and published essays on the Trinity, Maurice Blondel, Charles Péguy, Thomistic metaphysics, and Benedictine monasticism. Her book Theo-Poetics: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Risk of Art and Being (University of Notre Dame Press) discusses the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar’s use of poetic and metaphysical modes of argumentation together, and its implications for his theology. Her recent work has focused on theologies of tradition, especially on key figures who influenced the theological Ressourcement of the early 20th century, and on the interaction or collision between theological aesthetics and decolonial thought.
Ewa Chrusciel is a poet, translator, and educator. She has three books of poems in English: Of Annunciations (Omnidawn 2017), Contraband of Hoopoe (Omnidawn 2014), Strata (Emergency Press 2009, reprinted by Omnidawn in April 2018), as well as three books in Polish: Tobołek (2016) Sopiłki (2009), and Furkot (2003). Her book Contraband of Hoopoe was translated into Italian by Anna Aresi and came out in Italy with Edizioni Ensemble in May 2019. She also translated selected books by Jack London, Joseph Conrad, I.B. Singer as well as the book of selected poems by Jorie Graham, and selected poems of Kazim Ali, Lyn Hejinian, Cole Swensen and other American poets into Polish. She is an Associate Prof. of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College. Her website is
Elizabeth Coffman is a documentary filmmaker, scholar and writer who is an Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago.  She is a director and producer for the NEH-funded film, "Flannery."  Elizabeth has co-produced films with Ted Hardin on nation-building in Bosnia and sea-level rise in Louisiana featuring writer Aleksandar Hemon, cartoonist Joe Sacco and poet Martha Serpas.  Recently, she completed a three-channel installation on 17th century Jewish writer, Sarra Copia Sulam, accompanied by the poetry and dance moves of Rita Dove.  She has been honored by the Audubon Society and participated in TEDX talks on oil spills. Elizabeth wrote the “Long Distance Mom” column for the “Mama, Phd” blog on Inside Higher Ed. 

Kimberly Rae Connor holds a Ph.D. in religion and literature from the University of Virginia. She is author of Conversions and Visions in the Writings of African American Women (Tennessee 1994) and Imagining Grace: Liberating Theologies in the Slave Narrative Tradition (Illinois 2000), as well as edited volumes and articles related to African American religious life and cultural production and multicultural and Ignatian pedagogy. Connor is the Secretary of the Board for the American Academy of Religion. She teaches at the University of San Francisco where she directs a program for MBA students based on the Spiritual Exercises.
Paul J. Contino has taught in the Great Books Colloquium at Pepperdine University since 2002.  Before that, he taught at Christ College, the honors college of Valparaiso University. For eleven years, he and his wife Maire served as co-editors of Christianity and Literature. He wrote the introduction to Burton Raffel’s translation of The Divine Comedy, and his essay on Dante and theology is forthcoming in the MLA Guide to Teaching The Divine Comedy. He has published essays on an array of writers -- Zhuangzi, Jane Austen, Mikhail Bakhtin, Arthur Miller, Czesław Miłosz, Geoffrey Hill, Andre Dubus, and Alice McDermott. His Commonweal profile of Tobias Wolff won a Catholic Press Association award. His reviews have appeared in America, First Things, and The Christian Century, and his essay on Roman Catholicism is included in The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Religion.  He is currently completing a book on the “incarnational realism” of Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov.
Nicole Coonradt, mother to three grown sons, has been teaching since the youngest was an infant. Currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hillsdale College (her undergrad alma mater) she teaches Great Books, including continental lit, and works as a writing tutor. She has published both scholarly and creative work (mostly poetry). While completing her doctorate in lit studies at the University of Denver, she wrote the libretto “Bertrand and Ferdinando” as six-sonnet intermezzo for an original opera variety show by composer Carolyn Elerding (Fringe Minnesota, 2010). She is currently collaborating with composer and percussionist Mark Douglass on Wenona, a tragic opera in three acts. She counts among her most meaningful experiences teaching writing, poetry, and drama to prison students as part of the Prison Education Initiative through Jackson College (MI).
Karin Coonrod is a theater maker whose work has been seen and heard across the country and around the world. Most recently she directed More Or Less I Am (a music-theater piece from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself performed all over New York City); The Merchant of Venice (on tour in the United States after its seminal performance with five Shylocks in the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy in 2016, marking the 500thanniversary of the Ghetto’s origin); Babette’s Feast (in Portland, Maine and off-Broadway);Tempest (La Mama Theater, New York); Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Palazzo Simoncelli, Orvieto, Italy). Founding Director of Compagnia de’ Colombari (2004-now), an international company that performed Strangers and Other Angels (medieval mystery plays re-imagined for the 21stcentury in the streets of Orvieto, Italy), she and the company launched a new tradition of theater in Orvieto. She developed for the theater O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge in a residency at the University of Iowa and Sundance Theatre Lab with the premier performance off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop in 2001. Currently on the faculty at the Yale School of Drama, she is preparing Flannery O’Connor’s Revelation and a new opera (with composer Paul Vasile) Judith.
Sarah Cortez, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and Fellow of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, has poems, essays, book reviews, and short stories published and anthologized.  Winner of the PEN Texas Literary Award, she has written and edited award-winning books in contests across the globe. She's been both a Houston and Texas finalist for poet laureate.  She has been published in archdiocesan venues, such as Texas Catholic Herald, and has done editorial work for the Benedict XVI Institute of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. She is a proud law enforcement veteran of 24 years and a feature writer for and  Founder and president of Catholic Literary Arts, she is a Rice University graduate in Psychology and Religion and holds advanced degrees from UT-Austin and UH-Central.  She is a featured public speaker on topics from Catholic literature and identity, law enforcement as vocation, to a contemporary vision of the Catholic writer and his/her formation.  She founded Catholic Literary Arts and guides Houston Catholic Poetry Society.
Vinson Cunningham is a staff writer and co-theatre critic for The New Yorker. His essays, reviews, and profiles have also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, FADER, Vulture, The Awl, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. A former White House staffer, he now teaches an MFA Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.
timone davis was a Catholic “pewster” until she discovered that the uselessness of the Church was because she wasn’t giving anything of herself. Her first ministry was with the RCIA, where she not only welcomed others into the Church, but also revitalized her own spirituality. After working for the Archdiocese of Chicago as the coordinator of ReCiL – Reclaiming Christ in Life Young Adult Ministry, timone launched PEACE centered WHOLENESS with her husband, where they are blending clinical counseling and spiritual companioning. timone is an assistant professor in the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago. She serves as the treasurer of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium. timone's dynamic energy and deep spirituality enhance her brand of teaching that engages one’s spirit through the use of storytelling. Her mission is to help others open their hearts and minds to the soul-saving power of God's Grace, Love and Mercy.
John F. Deane was born on Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland. He is founder of Poetry Ireland, Ireland’s national poetry society, and its journal The Poetry Ireland Review. He is also founder and first editor of The Dedalus Press. He has published many collections of poetry, including Snow Falling on Chestnut Hill: New and Selected Poems, (Carcanet 2012), Semibreve (Carcanet 2015), and a ‘poetry and faith memoir’, Give Dust a Tongue (Columba Press 2015). A new collection, Dear Pilgrims, appeared from Carcanet in 2018, as did Achill: The Island (Currach Press), a collection of poems set on Achill Island with paintings by John Behan . In 2016, Deane was the Teilhard de Chardin Fellow in Catholic Studies at Loyola University Chicago, and taught a course in poetry. In 2007, he received the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government.
Colby Dickinson is an Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University, Chicago. He is the author of Agamben and Theology (T&T Clark, 2011), Between the Canon and the Messiah: The Structure of Faith in Contemporary Continental Thought (Bloomsbury, 2013), The Spiritual and Creative Failures of Representation: On Poetry, Theology and the Potential of the Human Being (Fordham University Press, 2015), Agamben’s Coming Philosophy: Finding a New Use for Theology, with Adam Kotsko (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), Continental Philosophy and Theology (Brill, 2018) and An Introduction to Theology and Contemporary Continental Philosophy: The Centrality of Negative Dialectics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).  He is the editor of The Postmodern ‘Saints’ of France: Refiguring ‘the Holy’ in Contemporary French Philosophy (T&T Clark, 2013), The Shaping of Tradition: Context and Normativity (Peeters, 2013), and co-editor, with Stéphane Symons, of Walter Benjamin and Theology (Fordham University Press, 2015).  
Anthony Domestico is an associate professor of literature at Purchase College, SUNY, the books columnist for Commonweal, and a frequent reviewer for the Boston Globe. His book Poetry and Theology in the Modernist Period is available from Johns Hopkins University Press. 
Paul Elie is the author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own (2003), a group portrait of Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, Walker Percy, and Dorothy Day, and Reinventing Bach (2012), a group portrait of modern musicians who rendered the music of J.S. Bach in fresh and profound ways by making use of new technology.   Both books were National Book Critics Circle Award finalists.  For many years a senior editor with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, he is now a senior fellow in Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs – where he moderates the university’s Faith & Culture conversation series -- and a contributor to The New Yorker, which this year published his article about the legacy of priestly sexual abuse in Catholicism and posted his afterword to FSG’s new edition of Walker Percy’s novel The Moviegoer.  Also this year, Emergence published an essay of his about Pope Francis and the natural world.  
Abigail Rine Favale directs the William Penn Honors Program, a great books program at George Fox University in Oregon. Her acclaimed memoir, Into the Deep: An Unlikely Catholic Conversion, was published in 2018 by Cascade Books. Her numerous essays have appeared in publications such as The Atlantic and First Things, and her writing has won several awards, including the Feminist and Women's Studies Association Book Prize in 2014, and the J.F. Powers Prize for short fiction in 2017. Abigail is currently a Life and Dignity Writing Fellow for the University of Notre Dame’s Church Life Journal, where she writes "think pieces" on pro-life and feminist topics. 
Christine Flanagan, MFA, is the editor of The Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon (University of Georgia Press 2018) and a recipient of the 2017 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. Flanagan’s essays and fiction have garnered three Pushcart Prize nominations and her plays have been produced in New York, NY, and Portland, OR. Flanagan is currently a Professor of English at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. 
Dorothy Fortenberry is a playwright and screenwriter. Most recently, she has spent three seasons as a writer and producer on Hulu’s award-winning adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Her plays include Species Native to California, Partners, and Good Egg. Dorothy is also an essayist, whose work has appeared in publications such as Real Simple, Commonweal, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Burbank with her husband and children. 
Gina Franco’s book of poems, The Accidental, was awarded the 2019 CantoMundo Poetry Prize and is forthcoming with the University of Arkansas Press in October 2019. She is also the author of The Keepsake Storm, published with the University of Arizona Press. Her writing has been widely published in literary journals such as 32 Poems, America, Beloit Poetry Journal, Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Image, The Georgia Review, Los Angeles Review, Narrative, Poetry, Saint Katherine Review, and West Branch. She earned degrees from Smith College and Cornell University, and was awarded residencies and fellowships with Casa Libre en la Solana, the Santa Fe Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and PINTURA:PALABRA, sponsored by Letras Latinas, Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame. She teaches poetry writing, 18th & 19th-century British literature, Gothic literature, poetry translation, Borderland writing, religion and literature, and literary theory at Knox College, where she was awarded the Philip Green Wright-Lombard Prize for distinguished teaching.  She is an oblate with the monastic order of the Community of St. John in Princeville, Illinois, and she is married to Christopher Poore, who is currently a Regenstein Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School.
Ken Garcia is Associate Director of the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Pilgrim River: A Spiritual Memoir (Angelico, 2018), and Academic Freedom and the Telos of the Catholic University (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), which won the award for “Best Book Published in Theology in 2012” from the College Theology Society. His literary essays have been published in The Gettysburg Review, St. Katherine Review, The Southwest Review, Notre Dame Magazine, and Hunger Mountain. Two of his essays were selected as “Notable Essays” in the Best American Essays (2015 and 2016). He has also published in scholarly journals such as The Journal of Academic Freedom, Theological Studies, Marginalia, and Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society. He received a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2008.
Albert Gelpi is the William Roberson Coe Professor of American Literature, emeritus, at Stanford University. He has written widely about American poets and edited and coedited a number of collections, including The Letters of Robert and Denise Levertov, Dark God of Eros: A William Everson Reader, and Adrienne Rich: Poetry and Prose in the Norton Critical Editions Series. His critical / historical account of American poets and the development of the American poetic tradition comprises the trilogy of books: The Tenth Muse, A Coherent Splendor, and American Poetry after Modernism: The Power of the Word.
Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and writer. Former California Poet laureate and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia was born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican descent. The first person in his family to attend college, he received a B.A. and M.B.A. from Stanford and an M.A. from Harvard in comparative literature. For fifteen years he worked as a businessman before quitting at forty-one to become a full-time writer. Gioia has published five full-length collections of verse, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize as the best new book of the year. His third collection, Interrogations at Noon (2001), was awarded the American Book Award. Gioia is best known as a central figure in the revival of rhyme, meter, and narrative in contemporary poetry. Critic William Oxley has called Gioia, “probably the most exquisite poet writing in English today.” His most recent book is The Catholic Writer Today: and Other Essays (2018).
Mary Gordon is a novelist and memoirist. She is the author of eight novels, most recently There Your Heart Lies (2017). She has also written two novella collections, three memoirs, and other works of nonfiction. Her newest book, On Thomas Merton, was published in January 2019. Gordon’s awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, and O. Henry Award, The Story Prize, and an Academy Award for Literature. She has been inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame. She is currently the Millicent C. McIntosh Professor of English at Barnard College, and she lives in Manhattan.
Artur Grabowski is a poet, playwright, prose and essay writer, dramaturge and scholar. He studied Polish and comparative literature, theory of literature, and philosophy at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Ph.D.) where he is currently associate professor, teaching modern Polish and comparative literature, theatre, and creative writing. As a Kosciuszko Foundation visiting professor he taught at the University of Illinois in Chicago, SUNY in Buffalo, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle. In 2015/16, he spend four months at JNU, New Delhi, as a European Commission Scholar doing research on Indian theatre, and in 2016 lectured at the University of Delhi.
Dana Greene is a historian by training and a biographer by craft. After working as a Peace Corps volunteer and completing a Ph.D., she served on the faculty of St. Mary's College of Maryland, a public honors college. Subsequently, she became Dean of Oxford College at Emory University and then became Executive Director of the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory. She is editor or author of eight volumes, including biographies of Evelyn Underhill, Maisie Ward, Denise Levertov and Elizabeth Jennings and a contributing writer for National Catholic Reporter. She lectures on topics of biography and spirituality. 
Patricia Hampl first won recognition for A Romantic Education, a Cold War memoir about her Czech heritage. This book and subsequent works established her as an influential figure in the rise of autobiographical writing.  Other works include Blue Arabesque, Virgin Time, Spillville, The Florist’s Daughter, and I Could Tell You Stories (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction).  She has also published two collections of poetry.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.  In 1990 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.  Her latest book is The Art of the Wasted Day (Viking, 2018).  She is Regents Professor emerita (as of this June), University of Minnesota, and is a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program.  She lives in St Paul, her hometown.
Ron Hansen is the author of nine novels, two collections of stories, a children’s book, a collection of essays, and several screenplays. Mariette in Ecstasy was a nationwide best seller, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won the Gold Medal in Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. His novel Atticus was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. His novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. His most recent book is Hotly in Pursuit of the Real: Notes toward a Memoir. He teaches film and creative writing at Santa Clara University in northern California.
Rachel Hart Winter is an ethical theologian who brings a wealth of experience in scholarly research, higher education administration and teaching, and pastoral ministry to her role as director of the St. Catherine of Siena Center at Dominican University. She graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Neuroscience, earned a Master of Theological Studies degree at Loyola University Chicago, and recently completed her doctoral dissertation: Just Water: A Catholic and Feminist Response to the Commodification of Water. Her theological interests lay at the intersection of ecology and theology, drawing from the Bible, Catholic social teaching, ecotheology and feminist theory. She has taught courses in theology with focus on Catholic social teaching, social justice, and health care ethics. Prior to Dominican, Rachel worked at Loyola University Chicago, in both University Ministry and at the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. Previously, she served as a Jesuit Volunteer in the Marshall Islands and as associate director and operations manager at Jesuit Volunteers International. Rachel collaborated with a team of scholars from around the world on an interdisciplinary textbook that integrates ecology, ethics, and spirituality called Healing Earth through the International Jesuit Ecology Project. She has published a book on Jane Austen and prayer called Literary Portals to Prayer: Jane Austen. Hart Winter has also published several chapters and articles in scholarly and pastoral publications.
Cynthia L. Haven is a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar. Her newest book, Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard, has been reviewed in the New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Wall Street Journal, Tablet, San Francisco Chronicle, and Philadelphia Inquirer. It was named one of the top books of 2018 by San Francisco Chronicle. She has also written for Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, Nation, Wall Street Journal, Virginia Quarterly Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, World Literature, and many others. She has been a Milena Jesenská Journalism Fellow with the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, a visiting scholar at Stanford and a Voegelin Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. She is currently working on The Spirit of the Place: Czesław Miłosz in California for Heyday. She is the author of several previous volumes.

The author of books of poetry, fiction, essays and plays, Samuel Hazo is the founder and director of the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also McAnulty Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Duquesne University. He is author most recently of the poetry collection When Not Yet is Now. He has been awarded twelve honorary doctorates. A National Book Award finalist, he was named Pennsylvania’s first State Poet by Governor Robert Casey and served l993-2003.
Melinda Henneberger is an editorial writer and columnist for the Kansas City Star and writes a monthly column for USA Today. In 2019, she was named a Pulitzer finalist for commentary and won the Mike Royko Award for Commentary and Column Writing given by the News Leaders Association, which was created by the recent merger of the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors. She was previously a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday and the New York Times, where she worked for 10 years as a Washington correspondent and Rome bureau chief. She’s an Illinois native, third-generation Cubs fan, graduate of the University of Notre Dame and of the Catholic University of Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, and a former fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center and the Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies.
Fanny Howe is a well-known American poet, novelist, and short story writer who currently works as a professor of writing and literature at the University of California at San Diego. Howe was awarded the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, presented annually by the Poetry Foundation to a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. A prolific writer, Howe’s poetry collection, Second Childhood, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her other poetry collections include Love and I, The Needle’s Eye, Come and See, On the Ground, Gone, Selected Poems, Forged, Q, One Crossed Out, O’clock, and The End. She has written novels such as Nod, The Deep North, Famous Questions, Saving History, and Indivisible. Howe has also taught at various universities for almost 20 years, and was the inaugural visiting writer in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts – Boston.
Joshua Hren, Co-Founder and Assistant Director of the Honors College at Belmont Abbey College, teaches and writes at the intersections of philosophy and literature and Christianity and culture. He serves as editor-in-chief of Wiseblood Books, which he founded in 2013. Joshua has published scholarly articles in such journals as LOGOS, Religion and the Arts, New Blackfriars, and Contagion: a Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture; magazines as America and Touchstone; poems, in such publications as First Things; and short stories in a number of literary magazines. His first academic book, Middle-earth and the Return of the Common Good: J.R.R. Tolkien and Political Philosophy, was published in 2018, and his first collection of short stories, This Our Exile, received an Honorable Mention in Christianity and Literature’s 2018 Book of the Year Award.
Lawrence Joseph is the grandson of Lebanese Maronite and Syrian Melkite Catholic immigrants. Born and raised in Detroit, he attended Catholic grade school and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, then the University of Michigan, University of Cambridge, and University of Michigan Law School. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently So Where Are We?, published in 2017 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. A Certain Clarity: Selected Poems is forthcoming with FSG in March 2020. He is also the author of two books of prose, Lawyerland, a non-fiction novel published by FSG, and The Game Changed: Essays and Other Prose, in the University of Michigan Press’s Poets on Poetry series. Among his awards are two National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowships, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. His poetry and prose have been widely anthologized and translated into several languages. He is Tinnelly Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law and lives in New York City.  
Phil Klay is a Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War and the author of the short story collection Redeployment, which won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction. He is also the 2018 Laureate of the George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters for outstanding work in the category Cultural & Historical Criticism. A graduate of the Hunter College MFA program, his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Essay series.   
Krzysztof Koehler (born 1963) is a poet, essayist, literary critic, scriptwriter, deputy & programming director of the Polish Book Institute (Instytut Ksiazki). He works as a professor of literature and an expert on the history of Polish Baroque at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. He was an editor of ‘brulion’ (a legendary literary magazine published in the 80s and 90s), a lecturer at universities in Poland and in the USA, a TV documentalist and the director of a Polish TV channel “Kultura”.
Stephen E. Lewis is Professor of English at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He teaches a variety of periods and figures in British and American literature, and writes about modern and contemporary American, British, and French literature, and modern philosophy and Christianity. He has translated books by Jean-Louis Chrétien, Jean-Luc Marion, and Claude Romano. He is currently writing about post-WWII French Catholic thought, centered around the journal Dieu Vivant.
  Eamon Maher is Director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies in TU Dublin - Tallaght Campus. He did his Ph.D. on the theme of marginality in the life and works of the French priest - writer Jean Sulivan (1913-1980), and published a monograph in French based around his findings. Eamon has written several newspaper and journal articles on representations of Catholicism in 20th century fiction, and is currently preparing a book-length study on that topic. He has a particular interest in the French writers Georges Bernanos, Albert Camus, François Mauriac and in their Irish counterparts John Broderick, Kate O’Brien, Brian Moore and John McGahern.
Matt Malone, S.J., is the Editor in Chief of America magazine and President of America Media. Fr. Malone began his tenure on October 1, 2012. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest editor in chief in America’s history. He served for two years as an associate editor, from 2007-2009, when he covered foreign policy and domestic politics. He was the recipient of the 2006 first-place Catholic Press Association award for essay writing. His writing has appeared in numerous national and international publications and his work and ideas have been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, among others. He is the author of Catholiques Sans Etiquette, a book concerning the church and the political, which was published in 2014 by Salvator Press in Paris.
Paul Mariani is an award-winning poet, biographer and critic. Mariani is the author of twenty books, including eight volumes of poetry and biographies of Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Hart Crane, Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the Emeritus University Professor  at Boston College and lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, Eileen. His most recent books are The Mystery of It All: The Vocation of Poetry in the Twilight of Modernity (Paraclete Press) and Ordinary Time: Poems (Slant Publishers).
Jennifer Newsome Martin is an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies and the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. She is a systematic theologian with areas of research interest in 19th and 20th century Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox thought, Trinitarian theology, theological aesthetics, religion and literature, French feminism, ressourcement theology, and the nature of religious tradition. Her first book, Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) engages the religious character of modern philosophical thought, particularly in the German Idealist and Romantic traditions, as well as pre- and early Soviet era Russian religious philosophy; it was one of 10 winners internationally of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise (formerly the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise). She is also the co-editor of An Apocalypse of Love:  Essays in Honor of Cyril O’ Regan (Herder & Herder, 2018). Other work has appeared in Modern TheologyCommunio: International Catholic Review, and in a number of edited volumes and collections of essays. She is currently working on a second book project that treats repetition, poetics, and theologies of history in ressourcement theology, tentatively titled “‘Recollecting Forwardly’: The Poetics of Tradition.” She serves on the administrative team for the Hans Urs von Balthasar Consultation in the Catholic Theological Society of America as well as steering committees for Christian Systematic Theology and Eastern Orthodox Studies in the American Academy of Religion, and is on the editorial board of the journal Religion & Literature.
B.D. McClay is senior editor of The Hedgehog Review and a contributing writer for Commonweal, where she writes about Catholicism, art, politics, and saints. She has written for The Baffler, The Outline, LitHub, and several other publications.
John McCourt is Professor of English literature at the University of Macerata. His most recent book is Writing the Frontier. Anthony Trollope between Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2015). He has edited many volumes including Roll Away the Reel World: James Joyce and Cinema (Cork University Press), and James Joyce in Context (Cambridge University Press). He co-edited Problems with Authority: New Essays on Flann O’Brien,with Ruben Borg and Paul Fagan (Cork University Press, 2017). An edited collection entitled Reading Brendan Behan was published by Cork University Press in 2019. He is currently working on a study of the reception of Joyce's Ulysses in Ireland as the centenary of its publication approaches. John is co-director of the Trieste Joyce School.
Alice McDermott’s critically acclaimed eighth novel, The Ninth Hour, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award and The 2017 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and others named The Ninth Hour among the top works of fiction in 2017.  In 2018, The Ninth Hour was awarded France’s Prix Femina for a work in translation. Her seventh novel, Someone (2013), was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Patterson Prize for Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Someone was also long-listed for the National Book Award. Three of her previous novels, After This, At Weddings and Wakes and That Night, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Charming Billy won the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 and was a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award. That Night was also a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Harpers, Commonweal, and elsewhere. She has received the Whiting Writers Award, the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for American Literature, The Mary McCarthy Award from Bard College, and the 2019 Seamus Heaney Award from New York University.  In 2013, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.  For 23 years she was the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. 
Andrew McKenna (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University) is Emeritus Professor of French at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of Violence and Difference: Girard, Derrida, and Deconstruction, as well as numerous articles on European and American authors, art history, film criticism, and French critical theory. A former editor of Contagion: Journal of violence, Mimesis, and Culture, his is also a founding member of the Raven Foundation and of Imitatio, and a member of the Anthropoetics editorial board. A frequent lecturer on theater in Chicago, he now teaches writing-intensive literature courses to inmates currently incarcerated in the Illinois prison system and has published articles on criminal justice. His most recent article is on the apocalyptic vision informing the films of Luis Buñuel.
Carolyn Medine is a Professor of Religion and director the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Georgia. Dr. Medine is the co-author, with Dr. John Randolph LeBlanc, of Ancient and Modern Religion and Politics: Negotiating Transitive Spaces and Hybrid Identities (Palgrave, 2012). She writes on African American southern women's literature and religion, focusing on African American Buddhists and on issues of identity. She also has done a great deal of work for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.
Jessica Mesman is the editor of Image Journal's Good Letters and host of the Image Podcast. She is also the author of four books, including Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters, co-authored with Amy Andrews, winner of the Christopher Award for “literature that affirms the highest values of the human spirit." Her essays appear in America Magazine and US Catholic, among others. Jessica also founded the award-winning interfaith blog Sick Pilgrim and co-founded Trying to Say God: Re-enchanting the Catholic Imagination, a literary festival at the University of Notre Dame. She has spoken about spiritual writing and literary nonfiction at colleges and universities, the Festival of Faith and Writing, the Associated Writing Program’s annual conferences, and the Neiman Conference for Narrative Journalism at Harvard. She has appeared as a guest on NPR’s Interfaith Voices, CBC’s Tapestry, and on various shows for Relevant Radio and Sirius/XM The Catholic Channel.
Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (forthcoming 2020), The Sound of Listening (essays, 2018), Sand Opera (poems, 2015), Pictures at an Exhibition (poems, 2016), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (translations 2015), and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Hunt Prize, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.    
Mary Ann Buddenberg Miller is professor of English at Caldwell University in Caldwell, New Jersey, a small liberal arts and pre-professional institution in the Dominican tradition.  She is the editor of St. Peter's B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints (Ave Maria Press, 2014), a collection of over 100 poems, written by 70 poets from across the USA.  The voices of these poems are not the saints themselves speaking from distant places and times, but contemporary American voices who think of a saint in the midst of wide variety of hardships.  Miller is the founding editor-in-chief of Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, which is dedicated to publishing poems informed by the Catholic faith in a wide variety of ways. Presence also includes interviews with poets, reviews of individual collections of poems, and essays on the life's work of significant poets.  See
Michael P. Murphy directs The Catholic Studies and Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage at Loyola University Chicago. His research interests are in Theology and Literature, Critical Theory, and Christian Spirituality, but he also writes and engages public media on issues in eco-theology, ethics, and the literary/political cultures of Catholicism. Mike is a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and his first book, A Theology of Criticism (Oxford), was named a "Distinguished Publication" in 2008 by the American Academy of Religion. He has published occasional pieces on topics ranging from spiritualities of citizenship to dating in digital culture. His most recent scholarly pieces are the theological introduction to Robert Hugh Benson’s 1907 dystopian classic Lord of the World (Ave Maria, 2016), “Breaking Bodies: O’Connor and the Aesthetics of Consecration” in Revelation & Convergence: Flannery O’Connor and Her Catholic Heritage (CUA Press, 2017), and an edited volume, this need to dance/this need to kneel: Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith, (Wipf and Stock, coming in fall, 2019). He is currently at work on a monograph entitled The Dirty Realists: Catholic Fiction, Poetry, and Film 1965-2015.
Farrell O'Gorman is Professor and Chair of the English Department at Belmont Abbey College, and a former associate professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University. He is the author of two scholarly books: Catholicism and American Borders in the Gothic Literary Imagination (U. of Notre Dame Press, 2017) and Peculiar Crossroads: Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Catholic Vision in Postwar Southern Fiction (Louisiana State U. Press, 2004).  His short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Image, Shenandoah, South Carolina Review, and Best Catholic Writing 2007 (Loyola Press). His novel Awaiting Orders was published by Idylls Press in 2006.
Brigid Pasulka’s first novel, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), alternates between Nazi-occupied and post-Communist Poland. It won the 2010 PEN/Hemingway Award, the Polish American Historical Society Creative Arts Award, and a Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and it has been translated into six languages, including Polish. Her second novel, The Sun and Other Stars (Simon & Schuster, 2014), is set on the Italian Riviera and involves butchering, soccer and Dante. It was a Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice and an Indie Next Pick. Pasulka’s linked short stories set in post-Communist Russia have won awards and been published in various literary journals, and her upcoming novel is set in 1980s East Berlin. Pasulka lives with her husband and son in Chicago, where she runs the writing center at the Whitney Young Magnet High School on the Near West Side of Chicago.
Dominic Preziosi joined the staff of Commonweal in 2012, serving as digital editor and executive editor before being named editor in July 2018. He has written extensively for Commonweal's website and print editions and is host of the Commonweal podcast. He has held senior editorial positions at McGraw-Hill and Forbes, and his articles, essays, and fiction have been published in The Brooklyn Review, The Common, ItalianAmericana, Nautilus, and elsewhere. Dominic was educated at Fordham University, Brooklyn College, and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and two children.
William Price, III tells stories through film and digital media. He has collaborated professionally with Grammy-winning bands  non-profits, startups, and healthcare companies. In his personal work, this award-winning writer-producer-director evokes the darkly tinged spirituality of Flannery O’Connor and John Steinbeck, releasing work that dares irreverence, aches for transcendence, and embraces the sometimes brutal tension between beauty and suffering; this spirit informs his work as a filmmaker, screenwriter, and creative director. He has overseen successful art direction, crowdfunding, and marketing campaigns for Audrey Assad, LEVV, Sarah Kroger, John Tibbs, and more. William’s most recent short film Claire McKenna has been enjoyed and awarded at festivals throughout the U.S. The film, which explores a young woman’s battle with identity and addiction, was commissioned as a piece of the 8beats Movie project. He is a father of two, a fledgling woodworker, and avid fan of sports and art.
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, which won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and a best book of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Kirstin is the recipient of the John Guare Writer’s Fund Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor at Princeton.
Richard Rodriguez is an author and a journalist, both in print and on television. As an author, he is most widely known for his autobiographical trilogy on class, ethnicity, and race: Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (1992), and Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002). His most recent book, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography (2013), is about the Abrahamic religions after September 11th and the desert ecology. Rodriguez worked as an essayist for nearly twenty years on the PBS NewsHour and has written documentaries for British and American television. Rodriguez holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.S. from Columbia University.
Paweł Rojek is a philosopher and sociologist, former editor-in-chief of Polish intellectual journal Pressje. He teaches analytical metaphysics at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Besides this, he explores Russian religious philosophy and the Polish Catholic intellectual tradition. He is a co-editor of the book series Ex Oriente Lux, published by Wipf and Stock in the US. In his Awangardowy konserwatyzm [Avant-Garde Conservatism] he argued, among other things, for joining religious inspirations with contemporary art. In 2017 this book was nominated for two important Polish literary awards: Joseph Mackiewicz and Identitas. Recently he published a much discussed book, Liturgia dziejów [The Liturgy of History] on the influences of Polish romantic messianism on the literary, philosophical and theological works of Karol Wojtyła - John Paul II.
Jonathan Rosenbaum was film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. His books include Cinematic Encounters 2 (2019), Cinematic Encounters (2018), Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia (2010), The Unquiet American (2009), Discovering Orson Welles (2007), Essential Cinema (2004), Movie Mutations (coedited with Adrian Martin, 2003), Abbas Kiarostami (with Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, 2003, 2018), Movie Wars (2000), Dead Man (2000), Movies as Politics (1997), Placing Movies (1995), This is Orson Welles by Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich (edited, 1992), Greed (1991), Midnight Movies (with J. Hoberman, 1983), and Moving Places (1980). He maintains a web site archiving most of his work at
Artur Sebastian Rosman is the Managing Editor of Church Life Journal at the McGrath Institute (University of Notre Dame). He formerly wrote about religion and the arts at the widely-read Cosmos the in Lost blog. His published work includes several book chapters and essays on the Catholic imagination in periodicals such as The Review of Metaphysics, IMAGE Journal, Pressje, and Znak. He has also translated six books from the Polish--most recently Jozef Tischner's Filozofia dramatu
Suzanne Ross is co-founder with her husband Keith of The Raven Foundation, an online community seeking to raise awareness of the impact of René Girard’s mimetic theory on Christian life. Suzanne is a graduate of Bucknell University and a certified Montessori educator. She taught preschool and kindergarten before working as a corporate training consultant. As a member of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion, she has attended and presented at the annual conferences and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Suzanne is the author of two books, The Wicked Truth: When Good People Do Bad Things and The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire. Her articles have appeared in the scholarly journal Contagion and online at Sojourners and Patheos. She is currently writing a play based on the life of Maria Montessori called The Miracle of San Lorenzo.
Paul Schrader is a screenwriter, director, and film critic. Born in Michigan, Schrader is a graduate of Calvin College and the UCLA Film program, where he was mentored by film critic Pauline Kael. He is the author of Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. His best-known screenplays include Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and The Last Temptation of Christ. He both wrote and directed most recently, the critically acclaimed film First Reformed.
  Jon M. Sweeney is an award-winning author, book publisher, and critic. He’s been called “one of my favorite contemporary spiritual writers” by James Martin, S.J., and interviewed in print by a range of publications from the Dallas Morning News to The Irish Catholic, and on television for CBS Saturday Morning, Fox News, CBS-TV Chicago, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and public television’s “Chicago Tonight.” His 2012 history, The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation, was optioned by HBO. He’s also the author of thirty other books including The Complete Francis of Assisi; Inventing Hell; The Enthusiast: How the Best Friend of Francis of Assisi Almost Destroyed What He Started; and The Pope’s Cat series for children. Jon has recently edited and presented two new collections of the lectures of Thomas Merton: A Course in Christian Mysticism, foreword by Michael McGregor; and A Course in Desert Spirituality, foreword by Paul Quenon, OCSO. Jon speaks regularly at literary and religious conferences. He is a Catholic, married to a rabbi, and their interfaith marriage has been profiled in national media. He writes regularly for America: The Jesuit Review in the U.S., The Tablet in the UK, and occasionally for The Christian Century. He is active on social media (Twitter @jonmsweeney; Facebook jonmsweeney), the publisher at Paraclete Press in Massachusetts, and lives in Milwaukee with his wife and daughters.
Bishop Paul Tighe has been the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture since 2017. He was consecrated a bishop on 27 February 2016. Previously he was Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. Born in County Meath, Ireland, he studied at University College Dublin, Holy Cross College, and the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 2017, he was the first Vatican official ever to speak at South by Southwest, participating in a panel with other spokespersons for Catholic organizations titled "Compassionate Disruption.” The panel was one of the festival's first attempts to consider the role of faith.
BIO James Matthew Wilson 
James Matthew Wilson is the author of eight books, including The Hanging God (Angelico, 2018), The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition (Catholic University of America Press, 2017), The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking (Wiseblood, 2015), Some Permanent Things (Wiseblood, 2014; Second Edition, 2018), The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (Wiseblood, 2014), The Violent and the Fallen (Finishing Line Press, 2013), Timothy Steele: A Critical Introduction (Story Line Press, 2012), and Four Verse Letters (Steubenville, 2010). His poetry appears regularly in many magazines and was included in Best American Poetry 2018. The 2017 winner of the Hiett Prize from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, he is Associate Professor of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University, poetry editor of Modern Age magazine, series editor of Colosseum Books, and director of the Colosseum Summer Institute.
Jessica Hooten Wilson is an associate professor of humanities at John Brown University in Arkansas, where she also founded and serves as Chair of the Board for Sager Classical Academy. The author of three books, Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov which received Christianity Today’s book of the year award in Arts and Culture, Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence, and Reading Walker Percy’s Novels. Hooten-Wilson has also edited a collection of essays on Solzhenitsyn to come out with the University of Notre Dame Press next year. She is currently preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel for publication.
Ryan Wilson is Editor-in-Chief of Literary Matters ( and the author of The Stranger World (Measure Press, 2017), winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. His has published nearly 100 poems, essays, reviews, and translations from the Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian,  and German in the last decade, and his work appears in periodicals such as: Best American Poetry, First Things, Five Points, The Hopkins Review, The New Criterion, Quarterly West, The Sewanee Review, and The Yale Review. Born in Griffin, GA, in 1982, and raised in nearby Macon, he holds degrees from The University of Georgia, The Johns Hopkins University, and Boston University. Currently, he teaches at The Catholic University of America and in the graduate program at Western State Colorado University, and he is the Office Administrator and C.F.O. of The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW). He lives with his wife north of Baltimore.
An amazingly diverse bandleader who moves with remarkable ease between Brazilian, jazz, classical, and sacred music, pianist-composer-vocalist Deanna Witkowski consistently thrills audiences with explosive performances that combine virtuosity and heart. Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition and a past guest on Marian McPartland’s historic Piano Jazz radio program, Witkowski’s accessible yet surprising sound is unmistakably her own. In attempting to categorize Witkowski’s music, one reviewer commented, “I was trying to liken her to another pianist’s style, living or deceased, and I came up with…no one.” Witkowski shares this “beyond category” distinction with Mary Lou Williams (1910-81), the innovative pianist who has become her lifelong mentor. Lecturing and performing Williams’s music at the University of Pittsburgh, Duke University, and as a featured performer with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Witkowski is recognized as a noted Williams scholar. Her upcoming biography, Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul, will be published by Liturgical Press in late 2020.
Gregory Wolfe is a writer, teacher, editor, and publisher. In 1989 he founded Image—one of America’s leading literary journals, which he edited for thirty years. He was also the founding director of the Seattle Pacific University MFA in Creative Writing program, which he led for twelve years. He currently edits a literary imprint, Slant Books, through Wipf & Stock Publishers. Wolfe’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, First Things, Commonweal, and America. He has served as a judge for the National Book Awards. His books include Beauty Will Save the World, Intruding Upon the Timeless, and The Operation of Grace. He is married to the novelist, Suzanne M. Wolfe. They are the parents of four grown children and live in Richmond Beach, Washington.
Catherine Wolff graduated from UC Berkeley in 1973. She received an M.A. in art history from the University of Michigan and taught high school before earning her M.S.W. from Syracuse University. She worked for many years as a therapist before returning to California, where she served as Director of the Arrupe Center for Community-Based Learning at Santa Clara University from 1999 to 2005. From 2006 to 2009, she was Director of Faith Formation at the Catholic Community at Stanford, during which time she earned her M.A. in Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University. She is the editor of Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero (HarperCollins, 2013) and has recently completed a book on the afterlife, Great Expectations, to be published by Riverhead Books. She lives in Northern California with her husband Tobias Wolff, close to their three children and three grandchildren.
Tobias Wolff’s books include the memoirs ThisBoy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War, the short novel The Barracks Thief, the novel Old School, and four collections of short stories, In the Garden of theNorth American Martyrs, Back in the World,The Night inQuestion, and, most recently, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. He has also edited several anthologies, among them Best American Short Stories1994, A Doctor’s Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov, and TheVintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. His work is translated widely and has received numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, both the PEN/Malamud and the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Story Prize, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he is the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor of English, Emeritus,  at Stanford. In 2015 he received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.
Kenneth Woodward served as Religion Editor of Newsweek for 38 years, reporting on a variety of subjects from seven continents. He is the author of over 750 articles for Newsweek, including nearly 100 cover stories. His numerous other articles, essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, among other publications. Woodward’s more scholarly articles have been published in The Encyclopedia of Protestantism and The New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. He is the author of four books, including most recently Getting Religion: Faith, Culture and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to Ascent of Trump. Mr. Woodward has been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center and a Regents Lecturer in Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his sixteen awards are the National Magazine Award, the Pulitzer Prize of the magazine industry, and the Robert E. Griffin Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Art of Writing from the University of Notre Dame. He holds five honorary degrees.