Negative Blue Selected Later Poems

Charles Wright

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

224 Pages



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Clear-sighted and contemplative, equally enchanted by the geography of this world and the next, Wright has long been considered one of the finest poets of his generation. Collected in these pages are nearly all of the poems from his last three books—Chickamauga (1995), Black Zodiac (1997), and Appalachia (1998)—thus comprising the third and final trilogy of a twenty-year, nine-volume poetic endeavor. Negative Blue also includes a section of more recent poems suggesting new directions in Wright's important journey. As James Longenbach has written in Boston Review: "This trilogy of trilogies—call it 'The Appalachian Book of the Dead'—is sure to be counted among the great long poems of the [twentieth] century."


Praise for Negative Blue

"There are precious few contemporary poets in whose work I find as much sheer wisdom as in Wright's . . . His ascetic discipline is an instruction and an aesthetic. The whole world seems to orbit in a kind of meditative, slow circle around Wright's grave influence."—David Baker, Poetry

"Truly an event. One of our national treasures has been watching us and listening to us for decades, and [Negative Blue] is proof that he's watched and listened well . . . One of the remarkable things about Wright is precisely what happens in the back yard, on the front lawn, or at a cafe. His poems are visions of things ethereal, but even with all their luminescence and otherworldly shades, they remain within earshot of a lawn mower starting up or cicadas announcing the hour."—Dionisio D. Martinez, Miami Herald

"[Wright is] a master craftsman who if asked would humbly call himself a journeyman, for the mastery of an art form, as Pound said, is the work of a lifetime."—Eric Pankey, Verse

"In an age of casual faithlessness, Wright successfully reconstitutes the provocative tension between belief and materialism."—Albert Mobilio, The Village Voice

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Charles Wright received the National Book Award for Poetry in 1983 for Country Music, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize in 1995 for Chickamauga, and the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award in 1998 for Black Zodiac.
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  • Charles Wright

  • Charles Wright was awarded the National Book Award in Poetry in 1983 for Country Music and the 1995 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Chickamauga. In 2008, he was honored for his lifetime achievement with the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry. He is also the winner of the Pulitzer Price, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. In 2014, Wright was named the 20th Poet Laureate of the United States for 2014-2015. Wright lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Charles Wright © Holly Wright