Campus & Community

Wright, publications manager, dies at 58

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Glenn Patton “Pat” Wright, teacher, editor, and mentor, died of cancer in his Cambridge, Mass., home on May 4. He was 58 years old.


Wright was manager of publications at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. In this capacity he directed the editing and publication of numerous books and journals in early East Slavic and Ukrainian studies for the institute through Harvard University Press.

Born in Lancaster, S.C., on June 18, 1946, Wright was the younger son of his late parents, Joseph Leitch Wright and Nivea Louise Patton Wright. After spending his formative years in Charlotte, N.C., he entered Duke University, where he specialized in 19th and 20th century British and American literature and received his bachelor’s degree in 1968. Following a short period of teaching in the North Carolina public school system, he entered graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he earned a master’s degree in English literature in 1973 and a Ph.D. in 1977 with a dissertation on narrative technique in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Wright began a career of university teaching at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., in 1977, gaining a tenured associate professorship in 1983. In the spring of 1987, he taught American poetry and drama as a Fulbright lecturer in the English Institute at the University of Warsaw in Poland.

In 1989, Wright moved to Los Angeles to join his life partner, Michael S. Flier, and taught in the writing programs at University of California, Los Angeles, before both moved to Cambridge in 1991. In that year he founded his own editing and publishing firm, Cambridge Wordwright and the Dipylon Press. He oversaw the editing and publishing of many books for the University of California Press, Harvard Business School, and Harvard University Press.

In 1993, Wright was instrumental in helping to launch with investment banker Isaac Devash the journal Vision: Harvard Students Look Ahead, with essays written by graduating Harvard seniors on the impact of their respective fields on the future. He taught literature and writing from 1993 to 1995 in the English Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 2003, Wright was appointed manager of publications at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

He is survived by Michael S. Flier, his life partner of 19 years and spouse of seven months. He leaves as well a brother, Joseph Leitch Wright Jr., of Charleston, S.C.; a nephew, Patrick Wright, of Charleston, S.C.; and many cousins, primarily residing in South Carolina.

A funeral service was conducted by Rabbi Albert Axelrad at the Memorial Church in Harvard Yard on May 11. A graveside service followed at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.