Cooling Time:
An American Poetry Vigil



“Readers who seek not autobiography but cogent thoughts, ideas, quotable claims about the state of the art (or about the state of Arkansas) will find themselves delighted.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Selected from over 20 years of twangy, cantankerous, and ecstatic occasional writing, C.D.Wright’s first book of (mostly) nonfiction prose testifies to the poet’s belief that “Poetry seems especially like nothing else so much as itself. Poetry is not like, it is the very lining of the inner life.” Often using the vocabulary of faith to explore and illuminate the topic of poetry, Cooling Time possesses the moral integrity of a lived vigil—best defined here as “a devotional watch”—whose object is “the elusory direction of freedom” that Wright considers essential to poetic practice.”

—Brian Teare 

The title Cooling Time is a legal term defined in the book’s epigraph as ‘a line of legal defense, peculiar to Texas courts, in which it i held that if a man kills before he has had time ‘to cool’ after receiving an injury or an insult he is not guilty of murder.” The juridicial practice applies obliquely to the mixed, experimental form of the book. Wright allows herself the freedom to lash out against restrains by absolving herself at the outset from any potential poetical crimes. The result is a rewarding foray into an exploratory space of technique and reflection.”

—Jeffrey Galbraith


Darren Angle