Cover image for One with others : [a little book of her days]
One with others : [a little book of her days]
Wright, C. D., 1949-2016.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Port Townsend, Wash. : Copper Canyon Press, [2010]

Physical Description:
168 pages ; 24 cm
The author returns to her native Arkansas and examines an explosive incident grounded in the Civil Rights Movement. Wright interweaves oral histories, hymns, lists, interviews, newspaper accounts, and personal memories--especially those of her mentor, V--as she draws directly upon the voices of witnesses, neighbors, police, activists, and a group of black students at the eye of the storm.
General Note:
Subtitle in brackets on title page.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3573.R497 O58 2010 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Wright belongs to a school of exactly one."-- The New York Times Book Review

"Wright has found a way to wed fragments of an iconic America to a luminously strange idiom, eerie as a tin whistle."-- The New Yorker

Investigative journalism is the poet's realm when C.D. Wright returns to her native Arkansas and examines an explosive incident from the Civil Rights movement. Wright interweaves oral histories, hymns, lists, newspaper accounts, and personal memories--especially those of her incandescent mentor, Mrs. Vititow--with the voices of witnesses, neighbors, police, activists, and black students who were rounded up and detained in an empty public swimming pool. This history leaps howling off the page.

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,
Sand Slough. Head hardened
on hickory sticks.
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"

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, Wright teaches at Brown University and lives outside Providence, Rhode Island.

Author Notes

C. D. Wright was born in Mountain Home, Arkansas on January 6, 1949. She attended Memphis State University and the University of Arkansas. Her collections of poetry include Cooling Time and One with Others, which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her works also won the Whiting Award and the Lannan Literary Award. She won a MacArthur genius award and a Guggenheim fellowship. She was a writing professor at Brown University. She died suddenly on January 12, 2016 at the age of 67.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Wright revisits her native Arkansas, during the 1960s, to pay homage to V, a friend and mentor. We learn in a percussively expressive mix of memories, testimonials, news, history, and ruminations that V was unhappily married, too often pregnant, forthright, flintily smart, and avidly literary. ( She had a brain like the Reading Room in the old British Museum. ) Much admired within her circle, bookish, card-playing, and bourbon-drinking V was an unlikely yet magnificent hero. MacArthur fellow Wright is known for her social consciousness and improvisational style, and she takes both qualities up a notch in this dramatically investigative and looping portrait of V, both in her prime--when she went against her overtly racist and staunchly segregationist neighbors to join a group of African Americans on a Walk against Fear and in her long subsequent exile and martyrdom. Such hate, such sorrow, such valor. Wright's sharply fractured, polyphonic, and suspenseful book-length poem is both a searing dissection of hate crimes and their malignant legacy and a lyric, droll, and fiery elegy to a woman of radiant resistance.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1969, a Tennessean known as "Sweet Willie Wine led a small group of African-American men on a "walk against fear through smalltown Arkansas. This event grounds Wright's most recent blending of poetry and investigative journalism. A tribute to Wright's mentor "V-an autodidact, activist, and bourbon-swilling mother of eight, whose support for the march ("I would have followed Sweet Willie Wine into hell) made her "a disaffiliated member of her race-the book probes the limits and intersections of the personal and the political. Wright intersperses descriptions of the Arkansas landscape; her own journey researching; transcriptions from V, her family, and others who experienced the events of that violent summer; lists of prices ("the only sure thing in those days); the weather ("temperatures in the 90s even after a shower), newspaper headlines; and personal memories. Through juxtaposition and repetition, she weaves a compelling, disturbing, and often beautiful tapestry that at once questions the ability of language to get at the complicated truth of history ("because the warp is everywhere), and underscores the ethical imperative to try. As Wright learns from V, "To act, just to act. That was the glorious thing. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.