How to capture Amy Wright’s Paper Concert: A Conversation in the Round, a one-of-a-kind book-length essay containing a multitude of individual voices? Wright, conductor extraordinaire, has managed to piece apart, then fold together conversations from a bevy of thinkers like Dorothy Allison, Rae Armantrout, Gerald Stern, Lia Purpura, Raven Jackson, Wendy Walters, Kimiko Hahn, Philanese Slaughter, and others, blended into one harmonious whole. Wright opens the book: “This essay anchors a central thread of dialogue over a dizzying divide. It weaves a decades worth of questions and answers from a range of discussions I’ve had with artists, activists, scientists, philosophers, physicians, priests, musicians, and other representatives of the human population. Some of them are famous, some will be, some should be—but all of them refract the light of the unknowable mystery of the self.”
The subjects range from the interconnected (inspiration and craft) to the seemingly disparate (colonialism and entomophagy), all with the hope of finding what truly matters to us.
If this book is a paper concert, it is a symphony. Just pull up a chair and listen.