Marquette University News Release

Prominent African-American poet and playwright will make two visits to Marquette

October 13, 2016

MILWAUKEE — Jay Wright, a prominent African-American poet, will give a poetry reading on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 3:30 p.m. in Weasler Auditorium as part of the Marquette Forum series.

The appearance is open to students, faculty and the public.

Wright also will return in 2017 for an event that will feature a reading of one of his plays.

Praised for its evocative language, introspective tone and mythological imagery, Wright’s work has won many honors, including the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships and Yale University’s prestigious Bollingen Prize. His plays, essays and poetry generally focus on a rediscovery of African-American heritage through historical study and personal experience.

Wright’s recent work includes the book-length poems The Presentable Art of Reading Absence (2008), Polynomials and Pollen: Parables, Proverbs, Paradigms, and Praise for Lois (2008) and the collection Disorientations: Groundings (2013).

Born in 1934 in New Mexico, Wright’s early exposure to Mexican, Spanish and Navajo cultures has had a lasting effect on his poetry. His poems explore history from this multicultural standpoint and often take the form of allegorical journeys and spiritual quests.

Wright’s visit is funded by the Rojtman Foundation to fund readings and lecture in the Philosophy Department and the English Department. The Rojtman Foundation previously donated the St. Joan of Arc Chapel located on the Marquette campus and a collection of art works for the Haggerty Museum of Art.

About the Marquette Forum
The forum is a year-long series of events of inclusive conversations to bring national experts together with those from Marquette and the Milwaukee community.

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About Joseph DiGiovanni


Joseph is a communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Joseph at (414) 288-6712 or joseph.digiovanni@marquette.edu.

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