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Sacramental Speech

Pulitzer-winning poet Franz Wright lectures on scripture and literature Thursday

Click the audio player to hear Wright read his poem “Walking to Martha’s Vineyard.”

Click the audio player to hear Wright read his poem “The Only Animal.”

The poetry of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright has been called “among the most honest, haunting, and human being written today,” and compared to “tiny jewels shaped by blunt, ruined fingers — miraculous gifts.” Tomorrow Wright will speak about Language as Sacrament in the New Testament at 6 p.m. in the Trustees Ballroom in the School of Management building. He will discuss the idea of language as sacrament in the Christian scriptures, the poetic forms used by Jesus in his teaching, and the possibility of religious poetry in modern-day society.

Presented by BU’s Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Wright’s talk is the second Amos Wilder Lecture. The poet’s papers are in the Gotlieb Center’s collection.

Wright’s honors include the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for the collection Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Fellowship, and a PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. He has published more than 15 collections of poetry, as well as 5 translations of French and German poets. Wright and his father, poet James Wright, are the only parent and child to have won Pulitzers in the same category.

Wright’s talk is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, in the Trustees Ballroom in SMG (enter at One Sherborn St.). It is free and open to the public and will be followed by a light reception.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.