Charles Wright

Books Reviews Charles Wright
Charles Wright

Wright stuff

Charles Wright, Great American Poet, like most poets (great, American or otherwise), spins verse outside the limelight. Culture vultures may mob the Tom Waitses and Lil Waynes of our planet, but any poet of the page lives free of paparazzi.

The Tennessee-born Wright deserves crowds. He’s etched the bare rock face of American poetry with his glyphs for 19 books now, won a National Book Award (1983, for Country Music) and a Pulitzer Prize (1998, for Black Zodiac). Still, as far as the popular reader goes, all this and a buck ninety buys a cup of Starbucks.

Sestets, Wright’s newest, is a fresh-eyed experiments in six-line verse form, and it shows Wright’s usual theme: He lives to describe. Here’s how he put it in an earlier book, Scar Tissue (2006): “I write out my charms and spells / against the passage of light / and gathering evil.” So Wright.

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