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Mar 11, 2024

Today’s guest is a man with two names and two careers. For
decades he has been a distinguished poet and translator under the
name of A.M. Juster. This is an acronym for his Christian name,
Michael J. Astrue, who for many years was a lawyer, biotech
executive, and public servant, most notably serving as Commissioner
of the Social Security Administration from 2007 to 2013. During
this time, his political enemies tried to dig up dirt on him – but
all they could find was that he wrote poetry on the side!

Juster has published multiple books of his original poems, most
recently Wonder & Wrath in 2020. His work as a
translator includes volumes of Petrarch, Horace, Tibullus, and the
Latin verse riddles of the Anglo-Saxon bishop St. Aldhelm. Upcoming
projects include another volume of Petrarch poems, a children’s
book about a female juvenile manatee called Girlatee, and
an anthology of poems about the legendary phoenix, from Ovid to

In this episode Juster discusses his two careers, his interest
in translating early Latin Christian poetry, St. Aldhelm’s riddles,
and his own original poetry.


A.M. Juster on Twitter

Saint Aldhelm’s Riddles

Wonder & Wrath

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