In a fine essay that appeared in the December 2013 issue of First Things, poet and critic Dana Gioia lamented the declension in Catholic literature since the mid-twentieth century, and the depressing homogeneity of contemporary American writing in general. “To visualize the American Catholic arts today,” he wrote, “don’t imagine Florence or Rome. Think Newark, New Jersey.” And thinking Newark conjures up visions of rundown apartment buildings and rattling commuter trains.
But Newark conceals a surprise or two up its well-worn sleeve. Continue reading