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Biography Charles Wright

U.S. Poet Laureate, 2014-2015

Charles Wright, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2014-2015. Photo credit: Holly Wright.

Charles Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, on August 25, 1935, and attended Davidson College and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He is the author of 24 poetry collections, including, most recently, Caribou (2014). While serving in the U.S. Army and stationed in Italy, he discovered Ezra Pound and began writing poems; he published his first poetry collection, The Grave of the Right Hand, in 1970. In addition to poetry, Wright has published two books of essays, Quarter Notes (1995) and Halflife (1988), as part of the University of Michigan Press “Poets on Poetry” Series, and has translated three poetry collections: Dino Campana’s Orphic Songs (1984), Eugenio Montale’s Motets (1981), and The Storm and Other Poems (1978)—the latter of which received the PEN Translation Prize.

Wright’s major honors include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress. Wright taught for many years at the University of Virginia, where he was the Souder Family Professor of English. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Videos with Charles Wright

Audio Recordings with Charles Wright

Selected Works at the Library of Congress