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Rising, Falling, Hovering
     

Rising, Falling, Hovering

by C. D. Wright
 

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C.D. Wright is one of America’s leading poets, an artist of idiosyncratic vision who demands ever more from words and poems. As Dave Eggers wrote in The New York Times, “C.D. Wright has been writing some of the greatest poetry-cum-prose you can find in American literature.”

Rising, Falling, Hovering is a work of profound social,

Overview

C.D. Wright is one of America’s leading poets, an artist of idiosyncratic vision who demands ever more from words and poems. As Dave Eggers wrote in The New York Times, “C.D. Wright has been writing some of the greatest poetry-cum-prose you can find in American literature.”

Rising, Falling, Hovering is a work of profound social, political, and cultural consequence, a collection that uses experimental forms to climb within the unrest teeming around the world and inside the individual. “We are running on Aztec time,” she writes, “fifth and final cycle.”

In short lyrics and long sequences, Wright’s language is ever-sharpened with political ferocity as she overlays voices from the United States, Oaxaca, Baghdad, and the borderlands between nations, to reveal the human struggle for connection and justice during times of upheaval and grief.

If a body makes 1 centavo per chile picked or
5 cents for 50 chiles can Wal-Mex get it down to 3 cents. Pass the savings on to US.
Will they open a Supercenter in Falluja once it is pacified. Once the corpses in the garden have decomposed. Once the wild dogs have finished off the bones.
Does the war never end. Is this the war of all against all.
Who will build the great wall between us, the illegals, the vigilantes, the evangelicals. . .

C.D. Wright, author of twelve collections of poetry and prose, is a professor of English at Brown University and received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005. She lives outside Providence, Rhode Island.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556593093
Publisher:
Copper Canyon Press
Publication date:
12/01/2009
Pages:
100
Sales rank:
948,909
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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