September 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.- The poet Jay Wright, described by John Hollander as "a brilliant and original poet" and in the Boston Review as "an unsung wonder of American poetry," will read from his work at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29, at Amherst Books, 8 Main Street in Amherst (413/256-1547). The event, co-sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Of Transfigurations, a book that collects all seven of Wright's previous volumes of poetry, Peter O'Leary writes, "I haven't felt so ennobled as a reader by a book of poetry since I started reading the genre. This book is utterly essential." Wright has defied characterization by experimenting with voices, languages, cultures and forms. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Hollander described Wright's poetry as "powerfully concerned with roots-cultural, intellectual and spiritual." Wright says he has worked to record "my developing black African-American life in the United States, but I also saw that I had the beginning of forms to express lives that transcended that particular life." Transfigurations might be understood as an expression of that transcendence.

A resident of Vermont, Wright has received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Fellowship of the Academy of American poets.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center holds a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. See the Center's Website at for more information.