Wright, Charles

Wright, Charles, 1935–, American poet, b. Pickwick Dam, Tenn. While in the army in Italy (1957–61), he began reading Pound's Cantos, which, along with his Southern roots and ancient Chinese poetry, influenced his work. He has said that his poems examine “language, landscape, and the idea of God.” His poetry collections include Hard Freight (1973), The Southern Cross (1981), The Other Side of the River (1984), Zone Journals (1988), Chickamauga (1995), Black Zodiac (1997; Pulitzer Prize), Appalachia (1998), A Short History of the Shadow (2002), Buffalo Yoga (2004), Scar Tissue (2006), Littlefoot: A Poem (2007), Sestets: Poems (2009), Outtakes (2010), and Caribou (2014). His monumental Oblivion Banjo (2019) collects his works from five decades. His collections of essays and interviews include Halflife (1988) and Quarter Notes (1995); his translations include those of Eugenio Montale in The Storm and Other Poems (1978). Wright, who was poet laureate of the United States (2014–15), has taught at the Univ. of California, Irvine (1966–83) and the Univ. of Virginia (1983–2010).

See interviews ed. by R. D. Denham (2008); studies by A. Giannelli, ed. (2006) and J. Moffett (2008); companions to Wright's early and late poetry by R. D. Denham (both: 2009).

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