Action Alert!

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

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

Subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app! Please also rate and review the podcast.

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

This is a listener-supported podcast! Thanks for your help!

You can send feedback on the podcast by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, or by following the podcast on Facebook or Twitter. You can also email Thomas at [email protected].

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.

The Apple logo is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.