Biography of Charles Wright
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.
Charles Wright Poems
After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside To The...
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
Still Life On A Matchbox Lid
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,
Body And Soul Ii
The structure of landscape is infinitesimal, Like the structure of music, seamless, invisible. Even the rain has larger sutures.
My traveling clothes light up the noon. I've been on my way for a long time back to the past, That irreconcilable city.
Already one day has detached itself from all the rest up ahead. It has my photograph in its soft pocket. It wants to carry my breath into the past in its bag of wind.
Nine-Panel Yaak River Screen
Midmorning like a deserted room, apparition Of armoire and table weights, Oblongs of flat light,
I sit where I always sit, in back of the Buddha, Red leather wing chair, pony skin trunk under my feet,
Dio Ed Io
There is a heaviness between us, Nameless, raised from the void, that counts out the sprung hours. What ash has it come to purify?
Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky. Moon-fingers lay down their same routine On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys.
Dove-twirl in the tall grass. End-of-summer glaze next door On the gloves and split ends of the conked magnolia tree.
Darkened by time, the masters, like our memories, mix And mismatch,
The generator hums like a distant ding an sich. It's early evening, and time, like the dog it is,
The Appalachian Book of the Dead
Sunday, September Sunday ... Outdoors, Like an early page from The Appalachian Book of the Dead, Sunlight lavishes brilliance on every surface,
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,
Dogwood blossoms like little crosses
All down the street,
lilies and jonquils bowing their mitred heads.
Perhaps it’s a sentimentality about such fey things,