It is generally agreed that Jay Wright is one of the most significant American poets of the last fifty years. On the other hand, he has recently published a series of unconventional essays that he refers to as “examination papers,” which he defines as “designated investigations to myself.”


Wright delves into perennial concerns in the arts and philosophy, such as language, aesthetic form, knowledge, time, and death, in these linked essays that resemble prose-poems, with only a few lines set on each page. For the first time, “Soul and Substance” is showcasing these works.