Born in 1943, Saroyan has enjoyed success as a poet, novelist, memoirist, biographer, playwright. Saroyan received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, including one for the one-word poem lighght, which sparked a twenty-year controversy. While the minimalist poem appears at first to be a typo, once the reader realizes that the middle letters are silent and the pronunciation of the word is unaffected by the addition of the extra letters, it can be seen as a metaphor for the expansiveness of light itself.
This particular image is featured on the Paris Review print, and caused quite a stir when it was first revealed. Though the editorial and art staff welcomed it as a riveting piece of minimalist art, the grant donors were less than pleased to receive nothing but a copy of the one-word poem as a receipt of funds.