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

Pitch and Revelation exhibits the joy of reading the poetry, prose, and dramatic literature of the American poet Jay Wright (1934–). “Joy” carries philosophical weight here, as it did for Spinoza who understood joy as that affect necessary for the construction of intellectual love of God. Since “God” for Spinoza, as Eliza Ritchie (among others) has pointed out, “is universal existence, or being itself […] the is of all things,” Spinoza’s joy takes us well beyond the provincial notion of a religious God and leads us into the infinite univocity of everything. Similarly, with Wright, joy leads to a visceral sense of what we 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, we intend 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. Our exhibitions of meaning making are instructive, but they do not follow the “do as I do” or “do as I say” model of instructional texts. Instead, our readings invite the reader to “do along with us” as we 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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