The Arkansas-born poet who published with Copper Canyon Press died unexpectedly yesterday. She was a MacArthur "Genius" award winner and a giant on the American poetry scene. You can find some remembrances of her life and work by Max Brantley and Rich Smith, and there will undoubtedly be more in the days and weeks ahead.
For right now, I'd like to send your attention to a recording of Wright reading her own poem "Everything Good Between Men and Women" at the Poetry Foundation. It's a loud, lively, even raucous poem that starts with a bang (the title flows dircectly into the opening lines, "has been written in mud and butter/and barbecue sauce") and concludes with a demand for the reader to "Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead." That's a powerful demand from a poet to her audience, and tonight it feels like something more: sad, encouraging, raw. It feels like an invocation, a demand, and a love letter all at once.