C.D. Wright takes her title from a line of legal defense, peculiar to Texas courts, in which it is held that if a man kills before having had time “to cool” after receiving an injury or an insult he is not guilty of murder. Cooling Time is a new type of book, an unruly vigil that is an interconnected memoir-poem-essay about contemporary American poetry. Ever focused on possibilities, Wright demonstrates that “the search for models becomes a search for alternatives,” and thereby defines the terms by which poets can chart their own course.
from “By Jude Jean McCramack Goddamnit to Hell Dog’s Foot”
I know who poetry can’t accommodate: the tourist. I don’t mean it is necessarily more highborn than shell art, though the effort, the ardor of it goes toward being borne up. But I believe it can’t be identified with the compulsion to shop instead of the desire to touch, be touched.
“Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil focuses on the place and roles that poetry can play in the Here and Now… Cooling Time is a compendium of aphorisms, autobiographical riffs, mini-manifestos, close readings of other contemporary poets, political provocations, and self-examinations.” —Nashville Scene
“In Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil, Wright extends her penchant for the book-length poem to include the book-length mix of poetry and prose… [A] very fine new book.” —Providence Journal
“Wright proves herself to be one of the most complex, fascinating, and ultimately rewarding American poets writing today.” —Library Journal
“Wright is one of America’s oddest, best, and most appealing poets.” —Publishers Weekly
“Wright has been doing very idiosyncratic and always passionate work for a long time, and Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil is my favourite book of hers. It’s a sort of manifesto that explains why and how she writes, and why poetry is necessary. But it’s not pedantic, or dull, or in any way expected. It feels very Whitman-esque (to me at least), fast and soaring like that; it’s so inspiring that it’s hard to sit still while reading it.” —Dave Eggers, The Guardian