photo by zack garlitos

At eight years old, A.W. Strouse was so titillated by the Old Testament that he built a sacrificial altar in his parents’ front lawn. He prayed that God would fill him with the Word, but no divine inspiration was forthcoming. Instead, Strouse’s earthly father spanked him heartily for having killed the grass.

Ever since, Strouse has followed the via negativa of a fruity, beatnik Christian mysticism. He believes that grace isn’t possible without first going through hell, so his work celebrates the campy, the disgusting, and the dimwitted—his modes of apophatic spirituality.

Strouse lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn and teaches medieval poetry at the City University of New York. His books include My Gay Middle Ages (punctum books, 2015), Thebes (Jerk Poet, 2015), and Retractions and Revelations (Jerk Poet, 2014). He is currently writing a study on literary theories of the foreskin.