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Oblivion Banjo


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About the Author

Charles Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.


"Wright's poetry is driven by a trembling wonder before existence, and by a profound sense of mortality . . . Reading the abundance collected in Oblivion Banjo -- 17 volumes over four decades or so, the work of a lifetime -- one is struck by the care and the craftsmanship, but even more by the intense gravity of the spiritual striving." --Troy Jollimore, The New York Times Book Review"[An] exquisite assembly of selected poems from Wright's prodigious output . . . One may lose track of self and time within Wright's radiant poems, trusting that this great poet . . . might help us hear our own language, decipher our own feelings, as if for the first time." --Raul Nino, Booklist (Starred review)"At moments, Wright's work feels like an enormous, timeless front porch . . . His gregarious asceticism--asceticism over drinks, as it were--bears traces of Dante, St. Ignatius, Augustine, and the Buddha. These solemn figures make rather jaunty appearances in the work, but none of them seem to me to be the source of its charisma . . . Wright--with his sometimes cantankerous affection, his sympathy for the reader who has, as he has, seen and heard this all before--is profoundly companionable." --Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker"For decades Charles Wright has been America's backwood Buddhist, its metaphysical gardener, its lore collector, a most cosmopolitan local . . . He simply listens, taking in what the land says without speaking. As a poet he creates a similar effect, whether working in a sestet or a sonnet, or in the long, wending lines of his 1995 volume, Chickamauga, Wright sounds the same: Like a poet looking inward and outward at the same time." --John Freeman, Literary Hub"The brilliance of Wright's achievement lies in how seamlessly he integrates such cultural monuments with everyday occurrences that almost anyone can relate to, like sitting in the backyard and watching clouds pass overhead, or reflecting on one's travels, or simply remembering moments from childhood that refuse to be forgotten. Oblivion Banjo reveals the evolution and expansion of a singular voice, a singular vision, through the stages of a closely observed and considered life." --Jesse Graves, Chapter 16

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