U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Wright will read from his collection of work in Guerry Auditorium on October 16th at 4:30 PM. He is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and two volumes of criticism, and has won numerous awards, including the National Book Award, the PEN Translation Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
A book signing at the McGriff Alumni House will precede the reading. Wright will receive an honorary degree during the Founders' Day Convocation.
Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, and educated at Davidson College. He began to read and write poetry while stationed in Italy during four years of military service. A degree at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop followed, along with a Fulbright fellowship in Italy. He published his first collection of poems in 1970. His second collection was nominated for a National Book Award; his third, Country Music: Selected Early Poems, received the award. In 2011, Wright told PBS that the content of all of his poems, no matter their precise subject, is “language, landscape and the idea of God.” His poetry has won the Griffin International Poetry Prize (Scar Tissue), the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Black Zodiac), and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets (Chickamauga). Wright began teaching at the University of California, Irvine, and had a distinguished career at the University of Virginia as the Souder Family Professor of English.