The Sunday Poem: Kevin Young

 
I have a special video version of the Sunday Poem for you today by Kevin Young, one of my favorite contemporary poets. In this short clip from the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Young reads his poem “Aunties,” which appears in his collection Dear Darkness: Poems. Young is a talented reader of his own work, and a recitation really makes his poetry shine. Enjoy the poem and your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

About Kevin Young

Kevin Young was born 1970 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received his BA from Harvard University in 1992, where he took poetry workshops with Lucie Brock-Broido and Seamus Heaney, and his MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University in 1996.

His books of poetry include Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011); Dear Darkness: Poems (2008); For the Confederate Dead (2007); Black Maria (2005); Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003); To Repel Ghosts (Zoland Books, 2001), which was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award; and Most Way Home (1995), selected for the National Poetry Series and winner of the Zacharis First Books Award from Ploughshares.

Young is also the editor of the anthologies The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing (Bloomsbury, 2010); Blues Poems (Everyman’s Library, 2003) and Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers (2000), as well as a selected volume of poems by John Berryman for the Library of America.

About Young’s work, the poet Lucille Clifton has said, “This poet’s gift of storytelling and understanding of the music inherent in the oral tradition of language re-creates for us an inner history which is compelling and authentic and American.”

Young’s awards and honors include a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and an NEA fellowship. He taught at the University of Georgia and at Indiana University. Currently, he is the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University and lives in Boston and Atlanta.

For more information about Kevin Young, visit his website. You can purchase Kevin Young’s books here or at your local bookstore.

 

 

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This video is part of the Poetry Everywhere project airing on public television. Produced by David Grubin Productions and WGBH Boston, in association with the Poetry Foundation. Filmed at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. “Aunties” © Kevin Young.
 

By | 2016-11-11T21:53:21+00:00 01.29.12|Greatest Hits, The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Kevin Young

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.