C.D. Wright seems of a particular and rare kind of writer – not unlike Wallace Stevens or Thomas Pynchon in this respect, if very much unlike them in most others – in that she has attained a considerably great level of renown and eminence in and around her field – while still, as these things have it, remaining under-read – within which there exist two primary camps: one of ardent followers who greets each new poem and collection of hers as a singularly thrilling event, and another who doesn't see what all the fuss is about. Few disregard her work entirely; most fall fairly neatly into either of these two groups.
I would hope that the following recordings may lead those of the latter persuasion closer toward the former. Her reading voice is clear, crisp, funny, and entirely wonderful; it seems that her work couldn't be read any other way, and it may redirect those who are yet unpersuaded by her work to return to her poems with her voice and approach in mind. I certainly now hear her voice whenever I read any of her poems, and I'm the much better off for it, attempting to imagine her unexpected and invariably revealing vocal interpretations of her own work. Here she is reading 1998's terrific Deepstep Come Shining in its entirety; for those with less time at hand, check out her less-than-two-minute reading of Why Ralph Refuses to Dance, from her great 1991 collection String Light.
Wright was also interviewed by Leonard Schwartz on his show Cross Cultural Poetics, which is well worth a browse at the very least; the program, in which poet C.S. Giscombe is also interviewed, may be listened to by clicking here.