The Reading Series in the Classroom: C.D. Wright

CD WrightThis week, in continuation with our series, "The Reading Series in the Classroom," we here at Wordplay will introduce your students to the writing of C.D. Wright. Wright will read at the Poetry Center this Thursday, September 13th at 7:00 p.m. Wright's reading will be best suited for high school students, so we're including this Extra Credit Worksheet and this great interview with local poet and teacher, Christopher Nelson. (Teachers: feel free to download the worksheet and interview, which are both designed to help students reflect on our Poetry Readings and modify it as it suits your classroom needs.) Check out this introduction and short reading by C.D. Wright, part of the Poetry Foundation's "Poetry Everywhere" project. Check out her poem, Flame, which also appeals to a K-5 audience, then follow the prompts below.

1. “Flame” is arranged in a three columns, with a series of nouns, “the breath/the trees/the bridge.” Because the poem is written in columns, you can read the poem both vertically and horizontally across. How does the rhythm and meaning of the poem change when read vertically? How does it change when read horizontally?

2. In addition to reading Wright’s poem, you can also listen to her read the poem. Click on the audio link and listen to “Flame.” Describe how the poem changes when you listen to it, versus when you read it.

3. Write an imitation of Wright’s poem. Use a series of nouns in three columns, with words that repeat. For example:

the breath               the trees               the bridge

the road                  the rain                 the sheen

the breath               the line                  the skin

4. When read horizontally across, the last line of "Flame" reads, "the burn/the burned/the burning." What is it about this last line that makes for a powerful and effective ending?

C.D. Wright has published a dozen collections of poetry, most recently One With Others, winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, The Lenore Marshall Award, and finalist for the National Book Award. Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon, 2008) won the 2009 International Griffin Prize for Poetry. In 2007, Like Something Flying Backwards, New and Selected Poems was published in England. Her collaboration with photographer Deborah Luster, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana, was awarded the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize; a text edition was also released in 2007. Steal Away was on the international shortlist of the Griffin Trust Award. String Light won the 1992 Poetry Center Book Award. Wright is a recipient of a Macarthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, the Robert Creeley Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is the Israel J. Kapstein Professor at Brown University and lives outside of Providence with her husband, poet Forrest Gander.

Created on: 
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
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