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A Wild Perfection
The Selected Letters of James Wright
James Wright; Anne Wright, ed.; Saundra Rose Maley, ed.

2008 • 672 pp. 8 illus. 6 x 9"

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6872-4

“The compilation is beautifully executed, a treat for scholars and lay readers alike. Wright emerges from his own pages, relentlessly hardworking, perennially eager to learn, generous in his praise, at once plagued by his depressions and alive to the possibility.”—Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review

The thoughtful, inspiring letters of a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

“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.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“His own harshest critic, Wright famously ‘cracked the iambic shell’ of tradition, but he also defended traditional poets… His letters constitute an eloquent defense of poetry as a spiritual discipline.”—Tom D’Evelyn, The Providence Journal

JAMES WRIGHT (1927–1980) won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1972 for his Collected Poems, published by Wesleyan. His other Wesleyan books include Saint Judas (1959), The Branch Will Not Break (1963), and Shall We Gather at the River (1968). ANNE WRIGHT is a retired teacher in the field of early childhood education, and James Wright’s widow. SAUNDRA ROSE MALEY is the author of Solitary Apprenticeship: James Wright and German Poetry. She teaches at Montgomery College and Catholic University.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:55:43 -0500