Casting Deep Shade

C.D. Wright

Casting Deep Shade is a passionate, poetic exploration of humanity’s shared history with the beech tree. Before Wright’s unexpected death in 2016, she was deeply engaged in years of ambling research to better know this tree—she visited hundreds of beech trees, interviewed arborists, and delved into the etymology, folk lore, and American history of the species. Written in Wright’s singular prosimetric style, this “memoir with beech trees” demonstrates the power of words to conserve, preserve, and bear witness. Honoring Wright’s lifelong fascination with books as objects, this final work is a three-panel hardcover that encloses the body of text, illustrated with striking color photographs of beech trees by artist Denny Moers.

ISBN: 9781556595486

Format: Hardcover

About the Author

C.D. Wright (1949–2016), one of her generation’s most popular, formally restless, and influential poets, was recognized with scores of major awards including fellowships from the MacArthur, the Lila Wallace, the Lannan, and the Guggenheim foundations. She received a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts which, after her death, honored her by launching a new award in her name. Wright was raised in the Ozarks and came to live with Forrest Gander in San Francisco, Eureka Springs, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, …

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“… [Casting Deep Shade] begins as a loving naturalist’s ode to the beech tree and branches out to touch a dizzying array of international, transhistorical topics, not least among them what it means to be alive. Fans of Wright will find what they’re looking for in this collection…” —Publishers Weekly

“… a physical as well as lyrical work of art.” ―Brooklyn Rail

“C.D. Wright belongs to a school of exactly one.” ―Joel Brouwer, New York Times

“Wright has found a way to wed fragments of an iconic America to a luminously strange idiom, eerie as a tin whistle.” ―New Yorker

“C.D. Wright has been writing some of the greatest poetry-cum-prose you can find in American literature.” ―Dave Eggers

“For me C.D. Wright’s poetry is river gold.” ―Michael Ondaatje

“CD Wright’s is a poetry of Southern mountain vision brought to the streets in a language of brilliant synaesthesia, colloquial warmth and laconic wit… a saxophone playing and a poignant voice making sense.” ―Carolyn Forché

“This is poetry as white phosphorus, written with merciless love and depthless anger… how can we react to a poetry this alive with invention and purpose but with joy?” ―Judges’ citation, Griffin Poetry Prize, 2009

“Expertly elliptical phrasings, and an uncounterfeitable, generous feel for real people, bodies and places, have lately made Wright one of America’s oddest, best and most appealing poets.” ―Publishers Weekly

“No single description adequately captures Wright’s work; she is an experimental writer, a Southern writer and a socially committed writer, yet she continuously reinvents herself with each new volume.” ―MacArthur Foundation


Publishing Professionals Network Book Show Award, 2020