Poetry Event: Jonathan Blunk & Anne Wright "James Wright: A Life in Poetry"

Event date: 
Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Oblong Rhinebeck
6422 Montgomery Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Biographer Jonathan Blunk will talk with James Wright's widow, Anne Wright, about his new authorized and sweeping biography of her late husband - one of America’s most complex, influential, and enduring poets

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In the extraordinary generation of American poets who came of age in the middle of the twentieth century, James Wright (1927–1980) was frequently placed at the top of the list. With a fierce, single-minded devotion to his work, Wright escaped the steel town of his Depression-era childhood in the Ohio valley to become a revered professor of English literature and a Pulitzer Prize winner. But his hometown remained at the heart of his work, and he courted a rough, enduring muse from his vivid memories of the Midwest. A full-throated lyricism and classical poise became his tools, honesty and unwavering compassion his trademark.

Using meticulous research, hundreds of interviews, and Wright’s public readings, Jonathan Blunk’s authorized biography explores the poet’s life and work with exceptional candor, making full use of Wright’s extensive unpublished work―letters, poems, translations, and personal journals. Focusing on the tensions that forced Wright’s poetic breakthroughs and the relationships that plunged him to emotional depths, Blunk provides a spirited portrait, and a fascinating depiction of this turbulent period in American letters.

Jonathan Blunk is a poet, critic, essayist, and radio producer. His work has appeared in The Nation, Poets & Writers, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. He was a co-editor of A Wild Perfection, the selected letters of James Wright.

Image by Sarah Haviland, Nov 2017.

James Wright: A Life in Poetry Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374178598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus and Giroux - October 17th, 2017