PLYMOUTH, N.H. — “The division between urban and rural is the only serious border left to us. I am a serious border-crosser. I like the sticks; I am, if you will, of the sticks,” wrote poet and Brown University Professor C.D. Wright.
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a MacArthur Fellow, Wright will read at Plymouth State University at 3 p.m. March 1, the first reader in the spring semester edition of the Eagle Pond Authors’ Series.
The MacArthur Foundation awarded her their prestigious fellowship, touting Wright as “one of America’s most compelling and idiosyncratic poets.” The fellowship underscores the importance of the creative individual in society, according to the foundation’s president.
Wright has published 12 collections including Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), >i>Deepstep Come Shining and Cooling Time. Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize.
She was born and raised in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, the daughter of a judge and a court reporter. She said she is fortunate to be from the Ozarks. “My family is there. My original family. I am glad for that. The particulars of hill society have shaped my work more than any certain somebody.”
Wright is known as a socially committed author, writing with power and perception about topics from illegal immigration to the challenges of parenting and the honesty required in human relations. She says her poems are about “desire, conflict, the dearth of justice for all.” Poetry is about “locating those zones inside us that would be free, and declaring them so,” she wrote.
Wright earned a BA degree from Memphis State College and an MFA from the University of Arkansas. Her honors and awards include The Poetry Center Book Award, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bunting Institute; and awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Witter Bynner Prize, and a Whiting Award. She was named Poet Laureate of Rhode Island in 1994.
“There is no one like Wright. Her voice-crackling and edgy, corporeal and erotic—carries with it the sound and feeling of her birthplace, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, ” wrote Angela Garbes in the Seattle Stranger.
Free tickets are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS or (800) 779-3869.
<a href="http://www.plymouth.edu/silver/events/eaglepond.htmlThe Eagle Pond Authors' Series/ is named for co-founder Donald Hall’s ancestral home in Wilmot, which has inspired much of his work. This series brings to campus some of the most widely read and revered authors of our time. The readings are presented by the Silver Center for the Arts and supported by a generous grant from the Plymouth State University Bookstore and Follett Higher Education Group.
Wesley McNair will be the final spring reader, April 5 at 3 p.m.