Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 14, 2012.
Kevin Young often finds meaning and inspiration for his poetry in African American music, particularly the blues. His seven collections include Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebellion (Knopf, 2011) and Dear Darkness. His Jelly Roll: A Blues, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize. He is the editor of five volumes, including 2010’s The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing. His recent book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness won the 2010 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and combines essay, cultural criticism, and lyrical chorus to illustrate ways African American culture is American culture. “I don’t mean to taxonomize but to rhapsodize. Take it from me—mean mean mean to be free.”
He is the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University in Atlanta.
In this episode he is introduced by Colson Whitehead and then reads from his work. The companion Conversation episode may be found here.
Additional photos of this event are available on Flickr.
You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to audio recordings of this event there.