vocalisms #4: C.D. Wright


vocalisms is a twice monthly feature that presents selected tracks from voca, the Poetry Center's online audio video library of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

C.D. Wright (2010), “Opening Remarks and excerpt from One With Others [a little book of her days]”

“In my book poetry is a necessity of life,” writes C.D. Wright in an oft-quoted passage from Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil. She continues, “It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free and declare them so.” In this 2010 reading, Wright reads from the opening of One With Others [a little book of her days], a book that steadfastly declares freedom in the face of racial injustice. Wright’s reading style perfectly reflects her writing style: unspooling and lightly inflected, casual but precise, relying on carefully selected facts and details to persuade the listener or reader. “You’ve got your life until you use it,” Wright reads towards the end of this track, quoting her friend and mentor referred to as V. Wright stands out as a poet who used her life and writing to the fullest in declaring freedom.