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Works by
James Wright
(Aka James Arlington Wright)
(Writer)
[December 13, 1927 - March 25, 1980)

Profile created October 13, 2009

Note: James Wright was the father of poet Franz Wright.
 

Anthologies
Biographical
  • A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright (2005), Anne Wright and Saundra Rose Maley, eds.
    "There is something about the very form and occasion of a letter--the possibility it offers, the chance to be as open and tentative and uncertain as one likes and also the chance to formulate certain ideas, very precisely--if one is lucky in one's thoughts," wrote James Wright, one of the great lyric poets of the last century, in a letter. A Wild Perfection is a riveting collection that captures the exhilarating and moving correspondence between Wright and his many friends. In the letters to fellow poets Donald Hall, Theodore Roethke, Galway Kinnell, James Dickey, Mary Oliver, and Robert Bly, Wright explored many subjects, poetic and personal, from his creative process to his struggles with depression and illness. Bright threads of wit, gallantry, and passion for describing his travels and his beloved natural world run through all these letters, which together form an epistolary chronicle of a significant part of the mid-century American poetry renaissance, as well as the clearest biographical picture now available of this major American poet.

Poetry
  • The Delicacy and Strength of Lace: Letters Between Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright (2009), Anne Wright and Joy Harjo, eds.
    The timeless exchange of advice and friendship between two of our greatest literary talents

    Dear Leslie: Of course I can’t know whether or not the world looks strange to God. But sometimes it looks strange to me.

    Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright met only twice. First, briefly, in 1975, at a writers’ conference in Michigan. Their correspondence began three years later, after Wright wrote to Silko praising her book Ceremony. The letters began formally, and then each writer gradually opened to the other, sharing his or her life, work, and struggles. The second meeting between the two writers came in a hospital room, as Wright lay dying of cancer.

  • Selected Poems (2005), Anne Wright and Robert Bly, eds.
    More than any other poet of his generation, James Wright spoke to the great sadness and hope that are inextricable from the iconography of America: its rail yards, rivers, cities, and once vast natural beauty. Speaking in the unique lyrical voice that he called his "Ohioan," Wright created poems of immense sympathy for sociey's alienated and outcast figures and also of ardent wonder at the restorative power of nature.

    Selected Poems fills a significant gap in Wright's bibliography: that of an accessible, carefully chosen collection to satisfy both longtime readers and those just discovering his work. Edited and with an introduction by Wright's widow, Anne, and his close friend the poet Robert Bly, who also wrote an introduction, Selected Poems is a personal, deeply considered collection of work with pieces chosen from all of Wright's books. It is an overdue--and timely--new view of a poet whose life and work encompassed the extremes of American life.

  • Above the River - The Complete Poems (1992)
    One of the most admired American poets of his generation, James Wright (1927-80) wrote contemplative, sturdy, and generous poems with an honesty, clarity, and stylistic range matched by very few--then or now. From his Deep Image-inspired lyrics to his Whtimanesque renderings of Neruda, Vallejo, and other Latin American poets, and from his heartfelt reflections on life, love, and loss in his native Ohio to the celebrated prose poems (set frequently in Italy) that marked the end of his important career, Above the River gathers the complete work of a modern master. It also features a moving and insightful introduction by Donald Hall, Wright's longtime friend and colleague.

  • In Defense Against This Exile: Letters To Wayne Burns (1985)

  • The Temple at Nimes (1982)

  • This Journey (1982)

  • To a Blossoming Pear Tree (1977)

  • Moments of the Italian Summer (1976)

  • Two Citizens (1973)

  • Collected Poems (1971) -- Winner Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
    A collection of authentic, profound and beautiful poems.

  • Shall We Gather at the River (1967)

  • Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio (1963)

  • The Branch Will Not Break (1963)

  • Saint Judas (1959)

  • The Green Wall (1957)

Other
  • Collected Prose (1983)
    A collection of Wright's essays on the language of poetry,

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