Last October, Paul Mariani, a professor at Boston College and one of the founding faculty members of the SPU MFA program, presented on the topic “But Who Is That Other One Who Walks Beside You?” as part of Boston College’s Church21 Center’s “The Art of Believing” series.
From the program’s promotional copy: "But Who is That Other One Who Walks There Beside You?" is a paraphrase from TS Eliot's Wasteland. How can and does the experience of the written word interact with faith? How does the creative act of writing strengthen or express faith? How can and does the experience of actively 'receiving' art strengthen, challenge, or move to faith? Professor Paul Mariani, BC University Professor of English, will speak of the poets and poetry that have influenced his believing heart and mind, and comment on how writing has affected his faith. Professor Mariani has published over 200 essays and reviews and is the author of sixteen books, including five biographies and six volumes of poetry: Timing Devices, Crossing Cocytus, Prime Mover, Salvage Operations: New and Selected, The Great Wheel, and Death & Transfigurations: Poems. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts, and two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships. In 2009 he received the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry. He has lectured and read from his own work across the United States, Canada, and Europe. This event is part of C21's 'The Art of Believing,' celebrating how the arts can express and strengthen faith."
On a personal note, I think Mariani is a truly great man.