Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil (Paperback)

An American Poetry Vigil

By C. D. Wright, CD Wright

Copper Canyon Press, 9781556592164, 144pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2005



C. D. Wright takes her title from a line of legal defense, peculiar to Texas courts, in which it is held that if a man kills before having had time to cool after receiving an injury or an insult he is not guilty of murder.

"Cooling Time" is a new type of book, an unruly vigil that is an interconnected memoir-poem-essay about contemporary American poetry. Ever focused on "possibilities," Wright demonstrates that the search for models becomes a search for alternatives, and thereby defines the terms by which poets can chart their own course.

"These are some of the things I have touched in my life that are forbidden: paintings behind velvet ropes, electric fencing, a vault in an office, gun in a drawer, my brother's folding money, the poet's anus, the black holes in his heart where his life went out of him."

"Tell me, what is the long stretch of road for if not to sort out the reasons why we are here and why we do what we do, from why we are not in the other lane doing what others do."

"Poetry is like food remarked one of my first teachers, freeing me to dislike Rocky Mountain Oysters and Robert Lowell. The menu is vast, the list of things I don t want in my mouth relatively short."

C.D. Wright, author of nine books of poetry, teaches at Brown University. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with poet Forrest Gander.

About the Author

C.D. Wright (1949-2016) taught at Brown University for decades and published over a dozen works of poetry and prose, including One With Others, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a National Book Award; One Big Self: An Investigation; and Rising Falling Hovering. Among her many honors are the Griffin International Poetry Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship.