Although widely known for his books on Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare and African American drama, University of Southern Mississippi English professor Philip Kolin’s poetry is getting considerable notice, with more than 20 of his poems published or accepted for publication in 2010.
“Getting one or two poems published a year in peer-reviewed journals is an honor,” said Kolin, a University Distinguished Professor. “But having 20 accepted in one year is a miracle really.”
Journals that have or will feature Kolin’s poetry are America, the highly regarded Jesuit magazine; Christian Century, which recently marked more than 100 years of publishing; Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, published by the distinguished British publisher Routledge; St. Anthony Messenger, which boasts a circulation of more than 350,000 readers; St. Katherine’s Review, sponsored by the Orthodox Christian College of San Diego; The Windhover, edited at Baylor University; and Seminary Ridge Review, sponsored by the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa.
The Penwood Review: A Poetry Publication for Writers of Faith, a journal of contemporary religious poetry which earlier had awarded Kolin its “Editor’s Choice Award” for a 2008 poem, accepted two of his poems for publication this year.
Many of Kolin’s latest poems draw on his inspiration from Scripture and its impact on contemporary culture. His poems are filled with Biblical allusions, settings, and metaphors; but he often uses these poetic tropes in unconventional ways. Reviewers have noted his provocative imagery and poetic techniques.
The titles of Kolin’s poems illustrate the literary influence Scripture has had on his work—“Genesis,” “LectioDivina,” or the divine inspired reading of Scripture, “Autopsy of a Crucifixion,” “Kneeling,” “Heaven,” “The River,” with allusions to the Jordan, “Feathers,” reflecting both the earthly and spiritual significance of this key metaphor about the Holy Spirit, and “The Grandfather’s Grave.”
His poems have also been accepted in 2010 by honored secular journals such as Poetry South, Tipton Poetry Review, Third Wednesday, and Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry.
To date, Kolin has four books of poems to his credit, including Deep Wonder: Poems (Grey Owl Press), which won an award from the Catholic Press Association, and A Parable of Women: Poems (Yazoo River Press).