Paul Wilkes, whose newest book, Your Second to Last Chapter: Creating a Meaningful Life on Your Own Terms, is one of America’s most respected writers on personal spirituality and living an intentional, meaningful life. He is the author of over twenty books, numerous magazines articles, and the host, writer, director or producer of seven PBS documentaries.
His book, In Due Season: A Catholic Life, was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the year’s 100 outstanding books. In a review, PW called In Due Season “an exquisite memoir that often reads like a novel.”
Paul lectures across the country about the role of belief and spirituality in individual lives as well the place and impact of morality in public life. As a commentator, he has appeared on all major television and cable networks.
His book, In Mysterious Ways: The Death and Life of a Parish Priest, a Book of the Month Club selection, won a Christopher Award. In addition to MERTON, airing on PBS, Paul Wilkes was host, writer, and associate producer of the acclaimed television series, SIX AMERICAN FAMILIES, which won a DuPont-Columbia award for documentary excellence.
He has written for many national magazines, such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine, and was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and Boulder Daily Camera. He served as an officer aboard a destroyer in the US Navy.
He has been a visiting writer and guest lecturer at Clark University, Columbia University, the University of Pittsburgh, College of the Holy Cross, Boston University and Brooklyn College. He was Welch Visiting Chair at Notre Dame, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Paul has been honored for his body of work with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he received his advanced degree, and with a By-Line Award from Marquette University, where he graduated.
He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with his wife Tracy, who founded DREAMS, an arts program for at-risk children. The Wilkes have two grown sons, Noah and Daniel.
In 2006, Paul founded Homes of Hope India-US to support orphanages and schools for street children in India. He is a co-founder of CHIPS (Christian Help in Park Slope), a Brooklyn center that has served the poor and homeless young mothers and children for over forty-five years.
Paul Wilkes talks about how he found his Second to Last Chapter calling:
A wise, warm and wonderful book for anyone wondering “What next?” Filled with practical advice and profound wisdom, Paul Wilkes’s brave new book makes the perfect companion for anyone ready to apply their hard-fought experience and hard-won knowledge to the world’s needs, both great and small.