On January 12, 2016, C. D. Wright died unexpectedly in her sleep at the age of sixty-seven. At the time, C. D. was serving on our Board of Chancellors, an honorary body of esteemed poets that has included W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Adrienne Rich, Mark Strand, and many other poets who have helped define the art of poetry in the United States. During her tenure, C. D. contributed greatly to our organization. She advocated for our having an open mind about the poets we supported—more often than not, advocating for young poets. And, she played an important role on our Poets Emergency Fund committee, making sure we were sending financial assistance to poets in crisis and need. Her humor, generosity of spirit, and fiercely brilliant artistry will have a lasting impact on all of us.
In tribute to C. D. and the many lives she touched in the poetry community—including her fellow Chancellors' and ours—we've gathered a selection of photographs, poems, essays, and tributes by those who knew her.