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Monday, January 16, 2017

Fwd: Monday's poet is Kevin Young

The Poetry Show 

Monday, 7:30-9:00 AM

Call in Number: 304-885-0708

Kevin Young is an accomplished editor, essayist, and curator as well as a prolific and widely respected poet. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on November 8, 1970. He graduated from Harvard University in 1992, where he studied with Seamus Heaney and Lucie Brock-Broido and was a. Ember of the African-American community of writers, the Dark Room Collective. Following his graduation, he was awarded a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and subsequently earned an MFA from Brown University. His first collection of poetry, Most Way Home (William Morrow, 1995) won the 1993 National Poetry Series, chosen by Lucille Clifton. Among his nine other poetry collections are Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (Knopf, 2011), written over the course of 20 years, Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry—an award given by the the Academy of American Poets for the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year—and Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016). He has also edited eight collections of poetry, including Best American Poetry 2011, The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing, Jazz Poems, and Blues Poems. His nonfiction book, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open. Book Award. Currently, Young directs the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.

In an interview with Parul Kapur Hinzen for Guernica, Kevin Young said, "To me the everyday is filled with extraordinary things. I also think the opposite is true, that poetry can take extraordinary moments and have us be able to put our hands around them, make them tactile and immediate. It's both the raising up and the reckoning with, wrestling to the ground, these kind of larger forces." 

This week's featured poem, "Greening," is from the Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014), a collection of poems that includes both poems about his father's death and his son's birth. 


it never ends, the bruise
          of being—messy, 
untimely, the breath

of newborns uneven, half
          pant, as they find
their rhythm, inexact

as vengeance. Son, 
          while you sleep
we watch you like a kettle

learning to whistle. 
          Awake, older, 
you fumble now

in the most graceful
to have seen you, on your own

steam, simply eating, slow, 
          chewing—this bloom 
of being. Almost beautiful

how you flounder, mouth full, bite
          the edges of this world
that doesn't want

a thing but to keep turning
          with, or without you—
with. With. Child, hold fast

I say, to this greening thing
          as it erodes
and spins. 

John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV

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