In Response to the Rumor...the   James Wright Poetry Festival Is Back!

In Response to the Rumor...the James Wright Poetry Festival Is Back!

Read about the James Wright Poetry Festival in Martins Ferry, Ohio, Saturday April 21, 2018: Interview with Jonathan Blunk and others


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The Georgia Review (Winter 2017) features an essay by Jonathan Blunk titled "Living Toward That Voice": James Wright Transfixing and Transfixed, that serves as a postscript to the biography. The piece includes a facsimile and transcription of Wright's translation of a Rilke poem.

Here's a link the Georgia Review website


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Poetry Daily posts in full the Prologue: At a point of beginning, from James Wright: A Life in Poetry

Read the Poetry Daily excerpt here


 Here is a link to the book on the    Macmillan        site

Here is a link to the book on the Macmillan site


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Advance Praise for JAMES WRIGHT: A LIFE IN POETRY by Jonathan Blunk

(Farrar Straus and Giroux, October 17, 2017)

“‘I am…homesick for my own heart,’ James Wright once wrote, and Jonathan Blunk has managed to track the remarkable journey by which, in his maturity, the poet found that heart. Along the way we are given a richly documented account of the ground from which arose some of the twentieth century’s finest lyrics poems. Blunk’s indispensable contribution deepens our understanding not just of James Wright but of America’s literary community during the latter half of that century.”
—Lewis Hyde

“Jonathan Blunk’s biography of James Wright is as good as it gets. I praise him endlessly for his visionary work, for his accuracy, and his knowledge.”
—Gerald Stern

“How did James Wright become one of the great poets of his time, a deep seeker of what he called ‘the pure clear word’? Jonathan Blunk’s definitive, perceptive, and compassionate biography tells the full story of a representative and necessary American maker. It is a sustaining achievement.”
—Edward Hirsch

“[A] seamless fine-fabric of a biography that, while limning its subject with great compassion, arouses a powerful appetite for Wright’s writing.” 
—Booklist [*Starred Review]

“Even though they never met, in Blunk, poet and assisting editor of Wright’s Selected Letters, James Wright has found his Boswell…Blunk meticulously explores Wright’s years of teaching, his painful bouts of depression, his recurring alcoholism, and how his poems were crafted . . . Quoting generously from Wright’s poems throughout, Blunk carefully chronicles the ongoing development of his style . . . A much-needed, engaging, and discerning biography that should help Wright find a new generation of readers.”  
Kirkus Reviews

“Admirable…Blunk gives discerning attention to Wright’s work, following individual poems from draft form to critical reception, as he traces Wright’s larger artistic trajectory…Unarguably the definitive work on Wright.”
Publishers Weekly

“[James Wright’s] life reads like something out of a Greek myth or Puccini opera: poverty, self-destruction, drunkenness, doubt, loving friends, broken marriage, wondrous success, and possible madness all circling around a seemingly endless and singular devotion to the art of poetry. Poet and critic Blunk has done a commendable job in telling Wright’s story. He presents a great deal of unpublished material . . . that shed much light not only on Wright’s life but on American poetry of that era…Blunk’s book reads like a work of great love, opening wide the door to Wright scholars . . . What stands abundantly clear is the compassion and devotion of a man to his art: both in the picture of Wright and in Blunk’s telling.” Library Journal

“This year marks the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of James Wright, an important American poet you quite possibly have never read . . . Jonathan Blunk’s absorbing new critical biography, James Wright: A Life in Poetry, should go a long way in correcting that state of near neglect. Offering an unabashed appreciation of Wright’s poetry but also an evenhanded assessment of the poet’s tortured life, Blunk’s impressive study is as compelling as Wright’s own story.”
BookPage