May 3, 2013

Posted by in Literature, Podcasts | 2 Comments

From JK Rowling to Live Poetry Critique: The City Podcast 6

Three interesting podcasts on literature and beauty (or the lack thereof):


The Public Intellectual Christian: Dr. Micah Mattix joined us on The City Podcast to discuss what it means to be a public intellectual. Mattix, who is also a poet and critic, talks about the question of being accessible and evangelical to the appropriate extent in the public sphere. But this was one of my favorite podcasts for a different reason:

This podcast includes a debate between Dr. Holly Ordway, who is a proponent of traditional poetic forms, and Dr. Mattix, who favors more modern poetic forms. You’ll also hear his answer to who the greatest living poet is.

Where Does Beauty in Literature Come From?

Our discussion with Dr. Micah Mattix last week did not feel complete. So we had him back for a second round of looking at beauty in literature.  Many evolutionists try to argue that poetry, love, and our sense of beauty are the remnants of something that once had survival value. Dr. Mattix strongly disagrees, for if you explain love, haven’t you explained away the very phenomenon of love? Are we the first generation in the history of humanity that does not do poetry for enjoyment?

This podcast – another of my favorites – is also notable in that we did an on-the-spot poetry reading and critique! I read Malcolm Guite‘s poem “In Medias Res” and Dr. Mattix responded. It was great fun and I hope also edifying for our listeners.

Also in this podcast: Dr. John Mark Reynolds exclaiming “Love, death, justice, and PANDAS!” Yes, there was context for that remark; listen to find out!

J.K. Rowling’s Vacant Fiction: I’ve enjoyed Rowling’s Harry Potter series very much, and so I was intrigued when her new “adult” novel The Casual Vacancy came out in 2012. Unfortunately, I soon heard enough comments from discerning readers to realize that this was not the book we’d been hoping for. Our guest on this show, Dr. Collin Garbarino, tackles the question of readerly betrayal as he discusses the book with me and Dr. John Mark Reynolds.


Dr. Holly Ordway is a poet, academic, and Christian apologist. She is the chair of the Department of Apologetics and director of the MA in Cultural Apologetics at Houston Baptist University. Her work focuses on imaginative and literary apologetics, with special attention to C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams.

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  1. Barbara Schmidt-Runkel says:

    Hi, I found this podcast very interesting but could not understand the name of the poet who Dr. Micah Mattix considers to be the greatest one alive. Could someone post it for me? Thanks!

    • Holly Ordway says:

      Barbara, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      If I recall correctly, the poet Micah mentioned as the greatest living poet was Dana Gioia.

      (And the poet I mentioned was Malcolm Guite).