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Jay Wright Manuscript

 Collection — Box: VMF 20, Folder: 10
Identifier: MS-VMF-vmf243

Consists of the original manuscript of The Prime Anniversary by Jay Wright. Published on July 29, 2019, The Prime Anniversary is comprised of a sequence of poems and a one-act play.

Donated to Washington University in St. Louis Department of Special Collections by Jay and Lois Wright in honor of their friend, Professor Steven Meyer.


  • 2018


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


1.00 items

1 folders

Biographical Information

Jay Wright (May 25, 1934 - ) is a poet, playwright, and essayist considered one of America’s leading African-American voices. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, his early exposure to Mexican, Spanish, and Navajo cultures has had a lasting effect on his poetry, and geography and culture are all major themes in his work.

Before embarking on his writing career, Wright played professional baseball, appearing 76 games over two seasons (1953–1954) with the Mexicali Eagles of the Arizona-Texas League and the Fresno Cardinals of the California League.  After his baseball career, he briefly studied chemistry at the University of New Mexico before joining the United States Army.  After serving for three years in the Medical Corps, Wright earned his BA from the University of California in 1961.  In 1967, he earned his MA in comparative literature from Rutgers University.

Wright’s first major published collection, The Homecoming Singer (1971), established his reputation as a gifted poet. In 2019, he published his seventeenth book of poems, The Prime Anniversary. In addition, Wright is an accomplished playright and essayist

Wright has been poet-in-residence, writer-in-residence and visiting professor at numerous institutions, including Washington University, Yale University, University of Dundee, Talladega College, Tougaloo College, Texas Southern University and Brandeis University.

He also received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award (1974), Guggenheim Fellowsip (1974-75), American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Literature Award (1981), John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1986-91), the Academy of American Poets Fellowship (1996), the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award for Transfigurations: Collected Poems (2000), the Bollingen Prize in Poetry (2005), and the American Book Award Lifetime Achievement Award from the Before Columbus Foundation (2006).

Source of Acquisition

Accession number MSS2019-017. Gift of Jay and Lois Wright, June 27, 2019

Jay Wright Manuscript
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Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 19: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495