Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

175—St. Aldhelm’s Riddles, Poetry & Public Service—A.M. Juster

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 11, 2024 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Today’s guest is a man with two names and two careers. For decades he has been a distinguished poet and translator under the name of A.M. Juster. This is an acronym for his Christian name, Michael J. Astrue, who for many years was a lawyer, biotech executive, and public servant, most notably serving as Commissioner of the Social Security Administration from 2007 to 2013. During this time, his political enemies tried to dig up dirt on him—but all they could find was that he wrote poetry on the side!

Juster has published multiple books of his original poems, most recently Wonder & Wrath in 2020. His work as a translator includes volumes of Petrarch, Horace, Tibullus, and the Latin verse riddles of the Anglo-Saxon bishop St. Aldhelm. Upcoming projects include another volume of Petrarch poems, a children’s book about a female juvenile manatee called Girlatee, and an anthology of poems about the legendary phoenix, from Ovid to Shakespeare.

In this episode Juster discusses his two careers, his interest in translating early Latin Christian poetry, St. Aldhelm’s riddles, and his own original poetry.


A.M. Juster on Twitter

Saint Aldhelm’s Riddles

Wonder & Wrath

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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