UI Graduate 63MF
(Former Writers' Workshop Faculty)
Prize Work: Black Zodiac; Pulitzer Prize: 1998
1935) is an American poet.
Author Biography - Charles Wright
was born in Pickwick, Tennessee on August 25th 1935. He spent his youth
and early adulthood in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.
In 1957, Wright
went to Davidson College where he earned his bachelor's degree. He
then joined the U.S. Army where he served in the army intelligence
unit for four years.
While Wright was statiened in Verona, Italy, he began
the poetry by Ezra Pound and
Eugenio Monte. Ezra Pound's poem, "Blandula,
Tenulla, Vagula" moved Wright to experiment writing his
Upon returning to the U.S in 1961, Wright joined
the University of Iowa where he then attended the Iowa
Writers' Workshop and earned his Masters degree in 1963. He was awarded a Fulbright
Scholarship at the University of Rome, 1963-65, as well as a Fulbright
Lectureship at the University of Padua, 1968-69.
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 1997 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
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.
He is a Chancellor
of The Academy of American Poets and currently resides
Charlottesville, Virginia where he works as a full time professor
at University of Virginia.
More About Wright's Prize Winning Work
Black Zodiac by Charles Wright
Black Zodiac offers poems suffused with spiritual longing—lyrical
meditations on faith, religion, heritage, and morality. The poems also
explore aging and mortality with restless grace. Approaching his vast subjects
by way of small moments, Wright magnifies details to reveal truths much
larger than the quotidian happenings that engendered them. His is an astonishing,
flexible, domestic-yet-universal verse. As the critic Helen Vendler has
observed, Wright is a poet who "sounds like nobody else."
(Taken from Amazon.com)
View editorial reviews from The New York Times,
Library Journal, Amazon.com, Booklist and
Read the reviews >>
Interview with Charles Wright
In an interview in April 1998, from the PBS
website, Charles Wright discusses his Pulitzer Prize winning work, Black Zodiac, and talks about being a "Southern" poet.
Read the interview >>
Back to Top
- Charles Wright
* Six Poems (1965)
* Private Madrigals (1969)
* The Grave of the Right Hand (1969)
* The Venice Notebook (1971)
* Hard Freight (1973)
* Bloodlines (1975)
* China Trace (1977)
* The Southern Cross (1981)
* Country Music: Selected Early Poems (1982)
* Zone Journals (1988)
* The World of the Ten Thousand Things: Poems, 1980-1990 (1990)
* The Other Side of the River (1994)
* Chickamauga (1995)
* Black Zodiac (1997)
* Appalachia (1998)
* North American Bear (1999)
* Negative Blue (2000)
* A Short History of the Shadow (2002)
* Buffalo Yoga (2004)
* The Wrong End of the Rainbow (2005)
* Scar Tissue (2006)
* Littlefoot (2007)
* Halflife: Improvisations and Interviews,
* Quarter Notes: Improvisations and Interviews (1995)
* The Storm and Other Things (1978)
* Orphic Songs (1984)