Am I pretentious because I know the names of two living poets and enjoy their works? Or am I pretentious for pointing it out? Or am I just a passionate reader who’s willing to share his passions even if the passion happens to be poetry (ewww!) now and again?
Whatever the case, Scott Cairns is a former Baptist who is now a Greek Orthodox. His work carries more formal properties (to my mind), while Christian Wiman is the former atheist who was raised by fundamentalists and now finds himself amazed to believe in God. Wiman has a new book, Every Riven Thing, that’s quite amazing (and accessible).
If you write, you can learn from anything – even poetry. (Wiman’s precise word images can startle you alive.) If you haven’t given poetry a shot lately, try it now. You might get to know the name of a living poet.