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Remembering John le Carré

The Real James Wright

Today is the birthday of the great American poet James Wright, born in 1927. He died 40 years ago at age 52.

Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a writer. So I was chagrinned when I learned in my teens that a writer with my name had already won the Pulitzer Prize. That's one reason my byline is Jim Wright, not James.

He's in a league of his own.

I found this celebration of Wright's poem on the Poetry Foundation's website:

Paul Zweig of the Partisan Review [observed]: "Long before [he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize], Wright had been acknowledged by a generation of poets as the artisan of a new language for poetry: A style of pastoral surrealism, built around strong images and a simple spoken rhetoric."

You can read my favorite Wright poem, "A Blessing," here.


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