2009 Port Townsend Writers' Conference faculty member Robert Wrigley has a new book of poems out. Entitled "Beautiful Country," one reviewer notes that "these poems explore that point where the sacred and the profane come together, that place of beauty inside the grotesque and the grotesque inside what is beautiful. The laws of nature, the commandments of capitalism, and the rules of war are transformed into songs of longing, patriotism, and dissent. 'Beautiful Country' offers a vision of a country that is unflinching, demanding, and generous." Read excerpts here.
Wrigley was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. He was drafted in 1971, but was discharged as a conscientious objector. The first in his family to graduate from college, and the first male for generations to escape work in a coal mine, Wrigley earned his MFA from the University of Montana, where he studied with Madeline DeFrees, John Haines, and Richard Hugo. His poems are concerned with rural Western landscapes and humankind’s place within the natural world, and he aims to “tell all the truth, but make it sing.”
His collections of poetry include "Earthly Meditations," "Lives of the Animals," (2003), "Reign of Snakes," "In the Bank of Beautiful Sins," "Moon in a Mason Jar," "What My Father Believed," and "The Sinking of Clay City."