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

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Aug 07, 2018

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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 https://fathersofthechurch.com/

“New York Is My Home” (a song Mike co-wrote performed by Dion and Paul Simon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpsVSLUOCGA

A History of the Church in 100 Objects by Mike & Grace Aquilina https://catholicbooksdirect.com/product/a-history-of-the-church-in-100-objects/

The Fathers of the Church, 3rd Edition by Mike Aquilina https://catholicbooksdirect.com/product/the-fathers-of-the-church-3rd-edition/

“Hindu Traditions of St. Thomas” at Mike’s blog https://fathersofthechurch.com/2007/05/21/hindu-traditions-of-st-thomas/

“Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhjSzjoU7OQ


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

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All podcast music by Thomas V. Mirus unless otherwise stated.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist, composer, and occasional amateur comedian living in New York City. He produces and hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

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