U.S. Poet Laureate, 2014-2015
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 in 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.
Webcasts with Charles Wright
- Watch Charles Wright’s Inaugural Reading as Poet Laureate
- Watch Charles Wright’s Poet Laureate Closing Event
Audio Recordings with Charles Wright
- Susan Mitchell and Charles Wright reading their poems in the Montpelier Room, December 16, 1993