Ryan Wilson was born in 1982 in Griffin, Georgia, and raised in nearby Macon. He is the author of The Stranger World (Measure Press, 2017), winner of The Donald Justice Poetry Prize, of How to Think Like a Poet (Wiseblood, 2019), which was awarded the Jacques Maritain Prize by the Catholic journal Dappled Things, of Proteus Bound: Selected Translations, 2008-2020 (Franciscan University Press, 2021), and of the forthcoming In Ghostlight: Poems (Southern Messenger Poets, LSU, 2024). Wilson’s poems have appeared in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry and Christian Poetry in America Since 1940, and his work has been published widely in periodicals such as 32 Poems, Birmingham Poetry Review, First Things, Five Points, The Hopkins Review, Image, Literary Imagination, The New Criterion, The Sewanee Review, and The Yale Review. He teaches at The Catholic University of America and in the M.F.A. program at The University of St. Thomas-Houston.
Wilson co-edited, with April Lindner, the forthcoming anthology, Contemporary Catholic Poetry (Paraclete), and, since 2016, Wilson has been Editor-in-Chief of Literary Matters. Under his editorship, Literary Matters has published original works by U.S. Poets Laureate and winners of The Nobel Prize for Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Award, The National Book Critics Circle Award, The Bollingen Prize, The Kingsley Tufts Award, The MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant, The Frost Medal, The American Book Award, The Poets’ Prize, The Wallace Stevens Award, and The Yale Younger Poets Prize, among many other honors. Contributors to Literary Matters during his editorship include: Kim Addonizio, Willis Barnstone, David Bottoms, David Bromwich, Fred Chappell, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Carl Dennis, Stephen Dunn, David Ferry, Amy Gerstler, Rachel Hadas, Edward Hirsch, Rodney Jones, Maxine Hong Kingston, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ted Kooser, David Lehman, Brad Leithauser, Timothy Liu, Shane McCrae, Amit Majmudar, Thylias Moss, Linda Pastan, Marjorie Perloff, Robert Pinsky, D.A. Powell, Christopher Ricks, Mary Jo Salter, Grace Schulman, Charles Simic, Dave Smith, Isaac Bashevis Singer, A.E. Stallings, Jean Valentine, Rosanna Warren, C. Dale Young, and David Yezzi.
Wilson also serves as the C.F.O. and administrator of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers (ALSCW), an international non-profit that promotes the study of literature in both creative and scholarly contexts.
In 2004, Wilson graduated from The University of Georgia, where he studied under Sabrina Orah Mark and Claudia Rankine. In 2007, he earned an M.F.A. from The Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University, where he was awarded the Sankey Prize for Poetry, and in 2008 he received a Master’s degree from Boston University, where he studied under Robert Pinsky, Derek Walcott, and Rosanna Warren, and where he was awarded the Schmuel Traum Prize for Translation. Since 2008, Wilson has published nearly 150 poems, translations, essays, and reviews, and his critical work has received The Walter Sullivan Prize for Criticism from The Sewanee Review and the Eleanor Clark Award from The Robert Penn Warren Circle, in addition to the Jacques Maritain Prize from Dappled Things. For the academic year 2019-2020, he was one of three poets selected to be readers for The Georgia Poetry Circuit, and he has given dozens of readings and lectures around the country, including recent events at: Berry College, Columbus State University, Hillsdale College, Loyola University-Chicago, Mercer University, The New School (New York), The Philadelphia Free Library, The University of Pittsburgh, The University of Tennessee-Martin, and Villanova University, among others.
Aside from his literary endeavors, Wilson enjoys athletics (especially baseball, basketball, and hiking), old films, music, and the theater. Happiest outdoors among the woodlands and farmlands, he lives in Carroll County, Maryland.