In Wright’s poetry, Goulish and Daddario find “philosophy practice” as dance and rhythm, as music and action, as linguistic and extra-linguistic games, as becoming and the event; in short, a range of operations that, as they put it, “resist the fragmentation of knowledge.” … This text will grow and transform with each reading. That is its poetry, its performance, and its philosophy.

~ Branislav Jakovljević, Stanford University

Grand in scale, but precise in its approach, Pitch and Revelation is an integral contribution to the scholarship of one of America’s most accomplished writers, examining five decades of poetry, plays, and philosophical insights that constantly seek to illuminate our common humanity.

~ Esteban Rodríguez, poet and essayist

Will Daddario and Matthew Goulish have surfaced from the deep pools of Jay Wright’s reading with an astonishing treasure. “Wright’s writings instigate a search, one that his reader has the opportunity to undertake under the guidance of his writing, more apprenticeship than quest.” These pages, then, illuminate for the apprentice a labyrinth of cultural artifacts and philosophical inquiry at each. This is an invaluable text for any reader, of Wright or anyone else, who has been faced with the epistemological enigma, “why did I read that?” Those who reach the end(?) of the labyrinth achieve an understanding of poetry—at least, the strongest poetry—as an “agent not for the acquisition of knowledge, but for the transfer of it, the translation and reapplication of it from one context to another, beyond its point origin.”

~ Dante Micheaux, author of Circus, winner of the Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the T. S. Eliot Foundation

Pitch and Revelation: Reconfigurations of Reading, Poetry, and Philosophy through the Work of Jay Wright

Pitch and Revelation is the first book-length study of the poetry, prose, and dramatic literature of the African American poet Jay Wright (1934–). The authors premise their reading on joy as foundational philosophical concept. In this, they follow Spinoza, who understood joy as that affect necessary for the construction of intellectual love of God, leading into the infinite univocity of everything. Similarly, with Wright, joy leads to a visceral sense of what the authors call the great weave of the world. This weave is akin to the notion of entanglement made popular by physicists and contemporary scholars of Science Studies, such as Karen Barad, which speaks of the always ongoing, mutually constitutive connections of all matter and intellectual processes.

By exhibiting and detailing the joy of reading Wright, Pitch and Revelation intends to help others chart their own paths into the intellectual, musical, and rhythmical territories of Wright’s world so as to more fully experience joy in the world generally. Although the exhibitions of meaning making presented are instructive, but they do not follow the “do as I do” or “do as I say” model of instructional texts. Instead,they invite the reader to “do along with us” as the authors make meaning from selections across Wright’s erudite, dense, rhythmically fascinating, endlessly lyrical, highly structured, and seemingly hermetic body of work.

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