Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Franz Wright’s collaboration with celebrated musician Daniel Ahearn (Ill Lit) and acclaimed producer Michael Rozon (Brazzaville, Melvins) – this time switching roles in the studio – has produced Readings from Wheeling Motel, recordings of poems from his most recent collection.
Against hazy sprawls of ambient sound, Wright’s newest poems glitter and glare. Dreamy atmospherics play perfect counterpoint to Wright’s delicate, deliberate lines, delivered in the poet’s singular husky and plaintive growl. Spare piano melodies play across the recordings as Wright’s poems play across the page, with plenty of white space to singe them. The themes of Wright’s poems will be familiar to his readers—despair, love, destruction, grace—but his preoccupation with voice and speaking-as-creation come across particularly well, wedded as they are to his own dusky alto. “Music told me early I should be filled with joy,” he laments in one poem, while in another he soberly recalls that “Some things need to be done in the dark alone.”
Listen to featured poems below:
Buy the complete album here. Jacekt art for Readings from Wheeling Motel: