Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Episode 12: A Career in Poetry & Prose—Mike Aquilina

By Thomas V. Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 07, 2018 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Mike Aquilina has been a highly successful freelance writer for over three decades. He is best known for his popular books on the Fathers of the Church, but he is also a poet and has co-written songs with the well-known blues singer Dion. We chat about the process of collaboration (whether as a ghostwriter or a song lyricist), the trajectory of poetry over the past century, and more.


Mike Aquilina’s website

“New York Is My Home” (a song Mike co-wrote performed by Dion and Paul Simon)

A History of the Church in 100 Objects by Mike & Grace Aquilina

The Fathers of the Church, 3rd Edition by Mike Aquilina

“Hindu Traditions of St. Thomas” at Mike’s blog

“Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants


Mike Aquilina

2:29 St. Thomas Aquinas’s Eucharistic hymns

5:27 Being a lyricist collaborating with a musician (Dion)

7:05 The fun of ghostwriting

9:18 Prose influences

11:18 Mike’s eclectic career path

13:27 The modern idea of the artist; poetry in the past century

31:39 Life as a full-time freelance writer

32:46 Mike’s work on patristics

35:18 Distilling the scholarship of experts for a popular audience

38:09 More on Mike’s collaboration with Dion

40:24 Having his lyrics sung by Paul Simon

41:31 Chatting about favorite musicians and lyricists

50:18 “Thomas Christians” in India and early Korean Catholicism

53:52 This week’s readings: Clement of Alexandria

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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