University of Pittsburgh
October 28, 2009

Acclaimed Poet Offers Insight Into the Future of Poetry

Nov. 5 Pitt event continues Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series' 2009-10 season
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Critically acclaimed poet C.D. Wright will give her perspective of the past, present, and future of the genre poetry during an interview titled "The Future of Poetry I," at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. Pitt English professor Dawn Lundy Martin will conduct the interview; Wright also will read selections from her poetry. The event is part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series' 2009-10 season.

The interview will focus on Wright's experiences as a writer, how her work has evolved, and the events that helped shape her poetry. The discussion also will examine the ever-changing landscape of the genre and those who contribute to it.

Wright is the author of a dozen books, including "Rising, Falling, Hovering" (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), which won the 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays have appeared in such literary magazines as "American Letters & Commentary," "Arshile," and "Conjunctions".

Among Wright's numerous honors and distinctions are fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a recipient of the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Whiting Writers' Award, and a Rhode Island Governor's Award for the Arts. Wright was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, awarded the Citation of Distinguished Alumni from the University of Arkansas in 1998, and named the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island in 1994.

A native of the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Wright earned a BA degree at Memphis State College in 1971 and an MFA degree at the University of Arkansas in 1976. In 1983, she joined the faculty at Brown University in Rhode Island, where she served as director of the Graduate Program in Literary Arts. She is currently the Israel J. Kapstein Professor of Literary Arts at Brown.

The 2009-10 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is cosponsored by Pitt's Writing Program, Book Center, University Library System, and University of Pittsburgh Press.

All events in the Writers Series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeff Oaks at or visit