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Jay Wright
(1935 - living) U.S.A.

Jay Wright

Playwright, poet, and essayist


Jay Wright was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He played professional baseball before studying comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley and Rutgers University.

He is the author of several collections of poetry. He has also written more than thirty plays, a dozen of which have been published.

About Wright's work, critic Harold Bloom wrote,

"As an immensely learned poet, Wright tries to defend himself against incessant allusiveness by stripping his diction, sometimes to an astonishing sparseness... His most characteristic art returns always to that commodious lyricism I associate with American poetry at its most celebratory, in Whitman, in Stevens, in Crane, in Ashbery."

Wright's honors include the 2000 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Rockefeller Brothers Theological Fellowship, and the Oscar Williams and Gene Derwood Award.

He was the recipient of the 1996 Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Most recently, Wright was named the 2005 recipient of Yale University's Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. He lives in Bradford, Vermont.


His work include:

  • The Homecoming Singer (1971)
  • Soothsayers and Omens (1976)
  • Dimensions of History (1976)
  • The Double Invention of Komo (1980)
  • Elaine's Book (1986)
  • Explications/Interpretations (1984)
  • Selected Poems of Jay Wright (1987)
  • Boleros (1991)
  • Transfigurations: Collected Poems (2000)
  • The Guide Signs: Book One (2007)
  • The Guide Signs: Book Two (2007)
  • Music's Mask and Measure (2007)
  • The Presentable Art of Reading Absence (2008)
  • Polynomials and Pollen: Parables, Proverbs, Paradigms, and Praise for Lois (2008)
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