Charles Wright Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Posted on

Jun 12 2014

Congratulations to Academy Chancellor Emeritus Charles Wright, who was appointed today as the twentieth United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2014–2015 by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Wright, 78, succeeds Natasha Trethewey, who served two one-year terms.

“Charles Wright is a master of the meditative, image-driven lyric,” said Billington. “For almost fifty years his poems have reckoned with what he calls ‘language, landscape, and the idea of God.’ Wright’s body of work combines a Southern sensibility with an allusive expansiveness, for moments of singular musicality.”

Wright is the author of over twenty poetry collections, including his most recent book, Caribou (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014); Scar Tissue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), which won the Griffin Poetry Prize; Black Zodiac (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997), which won the Pulitzer Prize; and Chickamauga (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1995), which won the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.

Wright is one of several past Chancellors who have been appointed Poet Laureate, including Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Robert Hass, Stanley Kunitz, W. S. Merwin, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, and Charles Simic.

Read and listen to Wright's poetry