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Poetry Reading and Conversation with
Poet Jay Wright

Frequently described as a “poet’s poet,” Jay Wright has quietly built an impressive career as one of America’s leading African-American voices. His work, praised for its evocative language, introspective tone and mythological imagery, has won many honors, including the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, and Yale’s prestigious Bollingen Prize. Wright’s plays, essays and poetry generally focus on a rediscovery of African-American heritage through historical study and personal experience. His poetry, often autobiographical and allegorical in nature, has been compared to the work of T. S. Eliot, Walt Whitman and Hart Crane, and shows influences as various as Dante, Nicolás Guillén, Alejo Carpentier, St. Augustine and the West African griot tradition. A recurring theme in Wright’s poetry is the attempt to overcome a sense of exclusion, whether from society or one’s own cultural identity, and to find growth and unity through a connection between American society (the experience of the present) and African traditions (the heritage of the past).

Location and Time

Tuesday, Oct. 25
3:30 p.m. Poetry reading
Weasler Auditorium

Wednesday, Oct. 26
3:30 p.m. Student conversation
Cudahy Hall, Room 108

No RSVP Needed

Both events are public and open to all students, faculty and the public.

Sponsored by the Rojtman Foundation

For more information, contact Dr. Curtis Carter,

About the Forum

Marquette University is launching a yearlong series of inclusive conversations, bringing experts of national renown together with those from the Marquette and Milwaukee communities.

Inspired by visions of inclusion and a better world emerging from Black freedom struggles, we hope to look with new eyes at the challenges that inequality presents at the national level and within Milwaukee. As a Catholic, Jesuit university committed to social justice, we seek to energize our campus and engage all Milwaukee’s communities by asking, “What is your freedom dream now?”

This site will be updated throughout the academic year as we add events to our schedule.