Presenter of the National Book Awards

2010 National Book Award Finalist,

C.D. Wright

One with Others

Copper Canyon Press

Photo credit: Forrest Gander


C.D. Wright examines a racist event in her native Arkansas and creates a layered, nuanced, and riveting tribute to V.


C.D. Wright has published a dozen books of poetry and prose, including the recent volumes One Big Self: An Investigation and Rising Falling Hovering, which received the Griffin Poetry Award. A MacArthur Fellow, she teaches at Brown University and lives outside Providence, Rhode Island.


Wright's Wikipedia entry

Wright's page at

Looking for "one untranslatable song": An interview with C.D. Wright
By Kent Johnson, from Jacket 15.


from One With Others by C.D. Wright

If white people can ride down the highways

with guns in their trucks

I can walk down the highway unarmed

Scott Bond, born a slave, became

a millionaire. Wouldn’t you like to run wild

run free. The Very Reverend Al Green

hailed from here. Sonny Liston a few miles west,

San Slough. Head hardened

on hickory sticks. A reporter asks a family

of sharecroppers quietly watching the procession,

Does this walk mean anything to you.

The father says, the others nod,

It means that Sweet Willie Wine is walking.

The cool water is for white/ the sun-heated for black
This chair is not for you [N-word]/ it is for the white buttock
This textbook/ is nearly new/ is not for you [N-word]
This plot of ground does not hold black bones
Today the sermon once again “Segregation After Death.”