Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Negative Blue

Negative Blue

Selected Later Poems

Charles Wright

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Trade Paperback

The culmination of the cycle that won Wright the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award

Time will append us like suit coats left out overnight
On a deck chair, loose change dead weight in the right pocket,
Silk handkerchief limp with dew,
sleeves in a slow dance with the wind.
And love will kill us--
Love, and the winds from under the earth
that grind us to grain-out.
--from "Still Life with Spring and Time to Burn"

When Charles Wright published Appalachia in 1998, it marked the completion of a nine-volume project, of which James Longenbach wrote in the Boston Review, "Charles Wright's trilogy of trilogies--call it 'The Appalachian Book of the Dead'--is sure to be counted among the great long poems of the century."

The first two of those trilogies were collected in Country Music (1982) and The World of the Ten Thousand Things (1990). Here Wright adds to his third trilogy (Chickamauga [1995], Black Zodiac [1997], and Appalachia [1998]) a section of new poems that suggest new directions in the work of this sensuous, spirit-haunted poet.


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

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Charles Wright

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.

Charles Wright

© Holly Wright

Charles Wright

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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