C.D. Wright, 2014 To the Lighthouse Finalist Judge

C.D. Wright

The 2014 To the Lighthouse Finalist Judge is renowned poet and chancellor at the Academy of American Poets, C.D. Wright.

C.D. Wright was born in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, the daughter of a judge and a court reporter. She has published over a dozen books, includingRising, Falling, Hovering(2008); Like Something Flying Backwards: New and Selected Poems (2007); and a text edition of One Big Self: An Investigation(2003), a project she undertook with photographer Deborah Luster to document Louisiana inmates. She has also published several book-length poems, including the critically acclaimed Deepstep Come Shining (1998).

Wright’s writing has been described as experimental, Southern, socially conscious, and elliptical; as a volume of selected poems, Steal Away demonstrates how Wright has not cleaved to any one voice or form but continues to evolve her style. As poet and critic Joel Brouwer asserts, “Wright belongs to a school of exactly one,” and Wright herself has pointed out the contradictions inherent in her work: “I’m country but sophisticated. I’m particular and concrete, but I’m probing another plane. . . . There are many times when I want to hammer the head. Other times I want to sleep on the hammer.” (Courtesy of the Poetry Foundation website.  Learn more about C.D.Wright and her poetry here.)

“Poetry is a necessity of life,” Wright has said. “It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free, and declare them so.”


Click here to apply to the 2014 To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize. 


Author: A Room of Her Own

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