Carolyne Wright

Carolyne Wright’s latest books are Masquerade: a Memoir in Poetry (Lost Horse Press, 2021) and This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and appeared in The Best American Poetry. Wright is a Seattle native who has lived and taught on fellowships in Chile, Brazil, India and Bangladesh, for Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, and for colleges and universities around the country.

2024 Jack Straw Alumni Poetry Series:

Masquerade is a jazz-inflected, lyric-narrative “memoir in poetry,” a love story in verse, set principally in pre-Katrina New Orleans and in Seattle, involving an interracial couple, artists and writers, trying to find a place together in racist America. Masquerade is unique in telling this story from the female protagonist’s perspective.

One Afternoon on Royal Street

You are reading Les Nègres. I am writing
To César. The sun gleams like a gold doubloon
Over the levee and the early winter bloom
Of camellias, the blue flame trembling

In the wall heater. Sun is blooming
With a cool flame, and you are talking
Over César and the early news. I am writing
And camellias are listening past you

To the voice of César blooming like a dark sun.
Your voice is a blue flame gleaming
On the pages of Les Nègres. The levees are trembling
Winter’s darkest gold. Listen: I am talking to you.

                                               After Kelly Cherry

2016 Writers Program

Sound Clips
  • Sister – Carolyne Wright