Jay Wright

Jay Wright

About Jay Wright

Jay Wright is an African-American poet, playwright, and essayist. Born May 25, 1935 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he lives in Bradford, Vermont. As a student at Rutgers, Wright lived in Harlem, where he met African-American writers associated with the Black Arts Movement. Wright's first publication was a 22-page chapbook entitled Death as History (1967), which contained 15 poems, published by Poets Press followed by his first full-length book, The Homecoming Singer (1971). This book included his famous poems The Homecoming Singer, The End of an Ethnic Dream, and An Invitation to Madison County. Although his work is not as widely known as other American poets of his generation, it has received considerable critical acclaim, with some comparing Wright's poetry to the work of Walt Whitman, T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane. Others associate Wright with the African-American poets Robert Hayden and Melvin B. Tolson, due to his complexity of theme and language, as well as his work's utilization and transformation of the Western literary heritage.
He received many awards like the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award in 2001 for his book Transfigurations: Collected Poems, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 2005, becoming the first African-American writer to be so honored, and the American Book Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Browse all poems and texts published on Jay Wright

Jay Wright Poems

Syndicate content

Popular Poets of All Time

  • Robert Frost
    Robert Frost
    was an American poet.
  • Maya Angelou
    Maya Angelou
    was an African-American poet.
  • Pablo Neruda
    Pablo Neruda
    Nobel prize chilean poet.