J. D. McClatchy on Jay Wright
The Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets named Jay Wright the recipient of the sixty-second Academy of American Poets Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement. The Fellowship carries a prize of $25,000 and fellows are nominated and elected by the Academy's Board of Chancellors, an advisory body of eminent poets. Chancellor J. D. McClatchy wrote the following citation.
Over the past quarter-century, Jay Wright's books have appeared like summer lightning: sudden, unexpected, brilliant in the surrounding dark . . . . [His] poems are miracles of visionary energy, moralized lyricism, and a buoyant, complex mythmaking. Like Whitman's, they range through histories and culture, intent on the solitary soul. Like any miracle, they are challenging to encounter, impossible to forget. The selection of Jay Wright as this year's Academy Fellow does honor to a prestigious prize.