Jay Wright, an African-American poet, essayist, dramaturge, and theologian, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Academy of American Poets awarded Wright the Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement. In bestowing the award, J.D. McClatchy commented, “Jay Wright’s books have appeared like summer lightning, sudden and unexpected, brilliant in the surrounding dark.” He has written ten books of poetry and a play. Before he became a poet and studied comparative literature, he played semi-pro baseball with the San Diego Padres.