Rising, Falling, Hovering

Overview

International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize 2009

"C.D. Wright's thirteenth collection, Rising, Falling, Hovering, reminds us what poetry is for. This is poetry as white phosphorus, written with merciless love and depthless anger." —from the Griffin Prize judges' citation

"Wright is a resolutely experimental poet, funny and intemperate, and the poems in her latest volume manage an unusual alchemy—they have...

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Overview

International Winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize 2009

"C.D. Wright's thirteenth collection, Rising, Falling, Hovering, reminds us what poetry is for. This is poetry as white phosphorus, written with merciless love and depthless anger." —from the Griffin Prize judges' citation

"Wright is a resolutely experimental poet, funny and intemperate, and the poems in her latest volume manage an unusual alchemy—they have a raw, unfinished quality that never feels provisional." —The New Yorker

"Wright belongs to a school of exactly one."
New York Times Book Review

"These poems succeed at storytelling and at painting realistic scenes. Wright emerges a modern woman coping with relationships in a world full of violence and wars. Recommended for larger public libraries and all academic collections."
Library Journal

“Wright braids some of her most personal and intimate poetry to date with an extended meditation on the consequences of America’s contemporary stance toward other countries.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“C.D. Wright has an uncanny and characteristic reverence for both the vernacular and the esoteric, which leads to riveting and rare depictions of American culture. . . . It’s been a while since I read an entire book of poetry in rapture. After finishing Rising, Falling, Hovering, I was reminded of why I love the medium, what it can do.”—The Stranger (Seattle)

Deeply personal and politically ferocious, Rising, Falling, Hovering addresses the commonly felt crises of our times—from illegal immigration and the specific consequences of empire-building to the challenges of parenting and the honesty required of human relationships.

About the other night I know you are sorry I am sorry too We were tired Me
and my open-shut-case mouth You and your clockwork disciplines And I know it is
too far to go But we can’t leave it to the forces to rub out the color of the world

C.D. Wright is the author of a dozen collections of poetry and prose. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Wright is a professor of English at Brown University and lives outside Providence, Rhode Island.

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Editorial Reviews

Joel Brouwer
Wright's emphasis on bearing witness, on counting and recounting victims, and calling the powerful to account, makes up one crucial aspect of her project, and calls to mind the work of 20th-century activist poets like Kenneth Fearing, Langston Hughes and Muriel Rukeyser. But the fragmentary forms and skittering attention of her poems suggest that 21st-century activist poetry may face some novel challenges, since it is obliged not only to bear witness to obvious evils but also to elucidate more subtle, tangled and disguised patterns of injustice. Wright's new poems take up a wide variety of thorny issues—the war in Iraq, the post-Katrina debacle in New Orleans, illegal immigration, the human consequences of global capitalism—but Wright understands it won't suffice merely to tote up the soldiers wounded, levees breached, Mexicans arrested and jobs lost. She also has to consider the interdependent systems that rely on and engender those phenomena, the buried roots from which those statistics stem. And this is where Wright really shines.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In her first collection of new lyric poems since 2003, Wright braids some of her most personal and intimate poetry to date with an extended meditation on the consequences of America's contemporary stance toward other countries. Short, elliptical lyrics, featuring Wright's trademark repetition of lines and sharp wit, which interrogate their own speaker and a companion ("She is not really hearing what he's really saying") flank the two-part title piece, a long poem that is a travelogue of a trip to Mexico at the beginning of the current war in Iraq. Everywhere the shell-shocked speaker goes, she finds people "mesmerized// by the new media-borne war," while she feels "Ashamed of her solace in being here" because, now more than ever, "to be ashamed is to be American." As the lines blur between tourism and empire, and as images and impressions accrue ("Whole new breed of dog born in every warren"), the poem's speaker also reflects on the safety and precariousness of her own family. This book displays a new level of social and personal consciousness for Wright (One Big Self), who characterizes the powerful ambivalence that now accompanies life in America, where injustice may be the price of freedom, and where "poetry/ doesn't/ protect/ you/ anymore." (Apr.)

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Library Journal

MacArthur fellow Wright (One Big Self) offers a collection of postmodern works; the title poem, which makes up more than half the book, is broken into two sections with other works in between. Also included are two versions or completions of poems that share many of the same lines. Wright discusses war, incendiary devices, and body counts from Iraq, topics made more powerful by personal poems that dwell on her son's safety or discuss mothers who have lost children. However, too often, Wright includes intellectual phrases that seem too engineered, for example, "accumulated chromatic density" and "interlinear significance." Words like these disengage the reader from the narrative flow and create emotional distance. But then Wright will startle readers with her unique way of looking at the world with phrases such as "Reveals a moon under construction" and "the petal of one eye shutting." The poet writes best about moments of everyday intimacy: "The closeness, the warmth, the voices of people eating together." These poems succeed at storytelling and at painting realistic scenes. Wright emerges a modern woman coping with relationships in a world full of violence and wars. Recommended for larger public libraries and all academic collections.
—Doris Lynch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556593093
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 100
  • Sales rank: 986,128
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

C.D. Wright, a Professor of English at Brown University, is the author of eleven books of poetry, as well as several collaborative works with photographer Deborah Luster, most recently One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana. She has earned fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim foundations, and is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award. She lives in Rhode Island.

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