In a companion to her astonishing collection of prose, Cooling Time, C.D. Wright argues for poetry as a way of being and seeing and calls it “the one arena where I am not inclined to crank up the fog machine.” Wright’s passion for the genre is pure inspiration, and in her hands the answer to the question of poetry is poetry.
In a Word, a World
I love them all.
I love that a handful, a mouthful gets you by, a satchelful can land you a job, a well-chosen clutch of them could get you laid, and that a solitary word can initiate a stampede, and therefore can be formally outlawed — even by a liberal court bent on defending a constitution guaranteeing unimpeded utterance…. More than the pristine, I love the filthy ones for their descriptive talent as well as transgressive nature. I love the dirty ones more than the minced, in that I respect extravagant expression more than reserved. I admire reserve, especially when taken to an ascetic nth…. My relationship to the word is anything but scientific; it is a matter of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not a horse.
“Wright’s 15th book and second collection of prose poetry/lyric essays (after 2005’s Cooling Time) further reveals her particular Southern wit, engagement with art, and commitment to social justice. Four major recurring themes unite the collection: Wright’s various journeys at home and abroad, her lifelong engagement with her contemporaries (including Brenda Hillman and Forrest Gander), her constant search for and redefining of poetry itself, and her love for Robert Creeley and William Carlos Williams.” —Publishers Weekly
“Wright shrinks back from nothing.”—The Village Voice
“Wright belongs to a school of exactly one.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Wright has found a way to wed fragments of an iconic America to a luminously strange idiom, eerie as a tin whistle.”—The New Yorker
“C.D. Wright is one of America’s oddest, best, and most appealing poets.”—Publishers Weekly