I have published eleven collections of poetry and prose, two of which Deepstep Come Shining (1998) and Just Whistle (1994) are book-length poems. My projects have often aimed to extol the virtues of the local while giving no quarter to the parochial. For One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana, I collaborated with photographer Deborah Luster to produce a creative document of Louisiana's prison population through image and text. I composed and published two state literary maps, one for Arkansas, my native state, and one for Rhode Island, my adopted state. For over twenty years, I co-edited Lost Roads Publishers, an independent literary press.
C.D. Wright was born and raised in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. She has published numerous collections of poetry and prose, most recently Steal Away, Selected and New Poems (Copper Canyon, 2002,2003); One Big Self:Prisoners of Louisiana with photographer Deborah Luster (Twin Palms, 2004), and a work in prose, Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil (Copper Canyon, 2005). String Light (University of Georgia Press, 1991) won the 1992 Poetry Center Book Award given by San Francisco State University. Poems and essays have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Arschile, BRICK, CONJUNCTIONS, sulfur, and other magazines. Wright has composed and published two State literary maps, one for Arkansas, her native state, and one for Rhode Island, her adopted state.
In 1991, she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts which prompted a move to Mexico. She was awarded the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1986, and in 1987, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bunting Institute. A second NEA was awarded in 1988, as well as a GE Award for literary essay. She was a 1989 recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award and a 1990 recipient of the Rhode Island Governor's Award for the Arts. In 1994, she was named State Poet of Rhode Island, a five-year post. On a fellowship from writers from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation, Wright curated "a walk-in book of Arkansas," a multi-media exhibition which toured her native state for a two-year period. She was Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop in the Fall of 1997. The University of Arkansas presented her with the Citation of Distinguished Alumni in 1998. In 1999, she was awarded a Lannan Literary Award and an artist award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. With poet, Forrest Gander, she edited Lost Roads Publishers for twenty years. Wright's latest collaboration with photographer, Deborah Luster earned them the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Their project is titled One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana and was published by Twin Palms Press in 2004. They are currently engaged in a project concerning a series of civil rights actions in the Arkansas Delta in 1969. Wright was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2004.
C. D. WRIGHT
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Poet C.D. Wright named 2004 MacArthur Fellow
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