Born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, and attended Davidson College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Wright has been widely published, winning the National Book Award in 1983 for Country Music: Selected Early Poems and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1998 for Black Zodiac. Other works include Chickamauga, Buffalo Yoga, Negative Blue, Appalachia, The World of the Ten Thousand Things: Poems 1980-1990, Zone Journals and Hard Freight. Wright's work also appears in Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts.
Wright has published two works of criticism, Halflife and Quarter Notes. His translation of Eugenio Montale's The Storm and Other Poems won him the PEN Translation Prize in 1979. In 1993, he received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for his lifetime achievement. From 1966 to 1983, he taught at the University of California, Irvine. He is now a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and Souder Family Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
The heart is colder then the eye is.
The watchers, the holy ones,
know this, no shortcut to the sky,
A single dog hair can split the wind.
I seem to have come to the end of something, but don’t know what,
Full moon blood orange just over the top of the redbud tree.
Maundy Thursday tomorrow,
then Good Friday, then Easter in full drag,
The structure of landscape is infinitesimal,
Like the structure of music,
Even the rain has larger sutures.