Pitch and Revelation: Reconfigurations of Reading, Poetry, and Philosophy through the Work of Jay Wright

Will Daddario and Matthew Goulish

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Pitch and Revelation is the first book-length study of the poetry, prose, and dramatic literature of the African American poet Jay Wright (1934–). The authors premise their reading on joy as a foundational philosophical concept. In this, they follow Spinoza, who understood joy as that affect necessary for the construction of an intellectual love of God, leading into the infinite univocity of everything. Similarly, with Wright, joy leads to a visceral sense of what the authors call the great weave of the world. This weave is akin to the notion of entanglement made popular by physicists and contemporary scholars of Science Studies, such as Karen Barad, which speaks of the always ongoing, mutually constitutive connections of all matter and intellectual processes.

By exhibiting and detailing the joy of reading Wright, Pitch and Revelation intends to help others chart their own paths into the intellectual, musical, and rhythmical territories of Wright’s world so as to more fully experience joy in the world generally. Although the exhibitions of meaning making presented are instructive, they do not follow the “do as I do” or “do as I say” model of instructional texts. Instead,they invite the reader to “do along with us” as the authors make meaning from selections across Wright’s erudite, dense, rhythmically fascinating, endlessly lyrical, highly structured, and seemingly hermetic body of work.


Will Daddario is a grief worker, teacher, and scholar of theatre and performance. He is a founding member of the Performance Philosophy network and editor of that group’s online journal and book series. He is currently the project editor for a forthcoming three-volume series dedicated to the selected plays of Jay Wright. To read more about his scholarly work, you can visit willdaddario.com. For more on his grief work, visit invitingabundance.net.

Matthew Goulish co-founded Every house has a door in 2008 with Lin Hixson. He is a dramaturg, writer, and sometimes performer with the company. He was a founding member of Goat Island, the Chicago-based performance group that existed from 1987 to 2009. His books include 39 Microlectures: In Proximity of Performance (Routledge, 2001), and The Brightest Thing in the World: 3 Lectures from the Institute of Failure (Green Lantern Press, 2012). His essays have appeared in Richard Rezac Address (Chicago, 2018) and Propositions in the Making: Experiments in a Whiteheadian Laboratory (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). He teaches in the Writing Program of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.