Robert Southwell is perhaps the most famous of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, a young sixteenth-century Jesuit who was hanged, drawn, and quartered for spending more than forty days on English soil as a Catholic priest. He wrote the poetry for which he is still studied and celebrated while in prison awaiting trial and execution. Along with Richard Crashaw and Gerard Manley Hopkins, he is considered one of England’s greatest Catholic poets.
Southwell, canonized in 1970 along with the thirty-nine other martyrs, is also the patron saint of the Southwell Institute, which is dedicated to fostering a Catholic literary revival. Each summer, the institute sponsors two St. Robert Southwell Literary Workshops for young Catholics interested in learning to write either fiction or metered poetry. The director is Dr. William Baer: poet, author, scholar, poetry editor of Crisis magazine , and recipient of the T.S. Eliot Award for Poetry, the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Fulbright. Guest lecturers at the workshops include Anthony Lombardy, poetry editor emeritus of First Things , and our own Joseph Bottum. Find out more information at the Southwell Institute website .
It’s a low-budget operation, so if you’d like to donate, you can do so here .