Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
National Book Award Finalist
“She's a true original, who manages to be odd, beautiful, tough as nails, and wonderfully inventive all in the same poetic line.” —Poets & Writers
“C. D. Wright is now, and has been for decades, a uniquely unpredictable poet." —New York Times
“No single description adequately captures Wright’s work; she is an experimental writer, a Southern writer, and a socially committed writer, yet she continuously reinvents herself with each new volume.” —The MacArthur Fellows Program
One of America’s most compelling and idiosyncratic poets, C.D. Wright "belongs to a school of exactly one" (NY Times). Born and raised in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, she is a radically restless writer, a composer of hybrid works such as Deepstep Come Shining and distilled lyric collections such as Tremble. Every title takes her further inside her subjects and extends the means and measure of her reach. Wright is concerned with a density of language, setting up a chain reaction using the least amount of verbal material.
She has published a dozen collections, most recently, One With Others, winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, The Lenore Marshall Award, and finalist for the National Book Award. Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon, 2008) won the 2009 International Griffin Prize for Poetry. In 2007 Like Something Flying Backwards, New and Selected Poems was published in England. Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize; and a text edition was also released in 2007. Steal Away was on the international shortlist of the Griffin Trust Award. String Light won the 1992 Poetry Center Book Award.
Wright is a recipient of a Macarthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, the Robert Creeley Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University and lives outside of Providence with her husband, poet Forrest Gander.
About ONE WITH OTHERS: A LITTLE BOOK OF HER DAYS (2010)
Investigative journalism is the poet's realm when C.D. Wright returns to her native Arkansas and examines an explosive incident from the Civil Rights movement. Wright interweaves oral histories, hymns, lists, newspaper accounts, and personal memories—especially those of her incandescent mentor, Mrs. Vititow—with the voices of witnesses, neighbors, police, activists, and black students who were rounded up and detained in an empty public swimming pool. This history leaps howling off the page.
About RISING, FALLING, HOVERING (2008)
“Wright gets better with each book, expanding the reach of her art; it seems it could take in anything.” —Publishers Weekly
C.D. Wright is an artist who has an unmistakable voice and penetrating vision, and her new book, Rising, Falling, Hovering, is an interweave of deeply personal and politically ferocious poems that write into the realities of our times—from illegal immigration and the specific consequences of Empire to the challenges of parenting and the honesty required of human-to-human relationship:
About the other night I know you are sorry I am sorry too We were tired Me
and my open-shut-case mouth You and your clockwork disciplines And I know it is too far to go
But we can’t leave it to the forces to rub out the color of the world
There is living and perception and power in these poems. The sopa de pollo, or chicken soup, that recurs thematically through the book in reference to crossing al otro lado, to the other side, is a code word for the undocumented immigrants who die crossing the border from Mexico to the United States. Wright’s fragmentary yet fluid narrative unites them to other grave crises propagated by the US (“us”) as colonial superpower through provocative and sparse narrations, but also to the bodily experiences of not-so political situations. The world propels towards an Aztec-calendar’s impending end, uniting the phenomenon of imperialism to centuries of colonial history. But the style of Wright’s unpredictable language arcs through the historical context to reach with broadened vision deeper into the personal—even to the point of suggesting: