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Authority record

Wright, Carolyn, 1949-, poet

  • Person
  • 1949-

C.D. Wright has published more than fifteen books of poetry and prose, including two book-length poems, Deepstep Come Shining (1998) and Just Whistle (1993); Cooling Time (2005), a book comprised of poetry, memoir and essay; and One with Others (Copper Canyon Press, USA, 2010; Bloodaxe Books, UK, 2013), both a book-length poem and a work of investigative journalism.

Her first UK retrospective, Like Something Flying Backwards: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), was expanded from Steal Away: Selected and New Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2003), including a substantial number of the poems from her Griffin International Prize-winning collection Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon Press, 2008).

Her many honours include a Lannan Literary Award, a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship and the $50,000 2009 Griffin International Poetry Prize for Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon Press, 2008). She is a professor of English at Brown University, and edited Lost Roads Publishers for 30 years with her husband, poet Forrest Gander. She has collaborated on many projects with photographer Deborah Luster, most recently One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana (2003/2007). She was State Poet of Rhode Island from 1995 to 1999.

Wright, James Arlington, 1927-1980, poet

  • Person
  • 1927-1980

James Arlington Wright was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, in 1927. His father worked for 50 years at a glass factory, and his mother left school at 14 to work in a laundry; neither attended school beyond the eighth grade. While in high school in 1943 Wright suffered a nervous breakdown and missed a year of school. When he graduated in 1946, a year late, he joined the army and was stationed in Japan during the American occupation. He then attended Kenyon College on the G.I. Bill, and studied under John Crowe Ransom. He graduated in 1952, then married another Martins Ferry native, Liberty Kardules. The two travelled to Austria, where, on a Fulbright Fellowship, Wright studied the works of Theodor Storm and Georg Trakl at the University of Vienna. He returned to the US, studying with Theodore Roethke and Stanley Kunitz at the University of Washington, and went on to teach at The University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and New York City's Hunter College.

The poverty and human suffering Wright witnessed as a child profoundly influenced his writing and he used his poetry as a mode to discuss his political and social concerns. He modelled his work after Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost, whose engagement with profound human issues and emotions he admired. The subjects of Wright's earlier books, The Green Wall (winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets award, 1957) and Saint Judas (1959), include men and women who have lost love or have been marginalised from society for such reasons as poverty and sexual orientation, and they invite the reader to step in and experience the pain of their isolation. Wright possessed the ability to reinvent his writing style at will, moving easily from stage to stage. His earlier work adheres to conventional systems of meter and stanza, while his later work exhibits more open, looser forms, as with The Branch Will Not Break (1963).

James Wright was elected a fellow of The Academy of American Poets in 1971, and the following year his Collected Poems received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He died in New York City in 1980. Above the River: Complete Poems was published in the US in 1990 and then in the UK by Bloodaxe Books in 1992.

Wrigley, Robert, 1951-, poet and educator

  • Person
  • 1951-

Robert Wrigley was born in 1951 in East St Louis, Illinois. He was drafted in 1971, but later discharged as a conscientious objector. The first in his family to graduate from college, and the first male for generations to escape work in a coal mine, Wrigley earned his MFA from the University of Montana. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He has taught at Lewis-Clark State College, Warren Wilson College, the University of Oregon and the University of Montana, and now teaches on the MFA program at the University of Idaho. He lives in the woods on Moscow Mountain, Idaho, with his wife, writer Kim Barnes.

His first book to be published in the UK, The Church of Omnivorous Light: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2013), draws on several collections published in the US, including Beautiful Country (2010); Earthly Meditations: New and Selected Poems (2006); Lives of the Animals (2003), winner of the Poets Prize; Reign of Snakes (1999), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award; and In the Bank of Beautiful Sins (1995), winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award and finalist for the Lenore Marshall Award from the Academy of American Poets. Wrigley has also won the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize, Poetry magazine’s Frederick Bock Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Celia B. Wagner Award, Poetry Northwest’s Theodore Roethke Award, and six Pushcart Prizes.

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