Kevin Young

University Distinguished Professor

Phone: 404-727-4683

Fax: 404-727-4672

Email: kevin.young@emory.edu

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Biography

Kevin Young is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, newly named a National Historic Landmark, and poetry editor of the New Yorker. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including the forthcoming Library of American African American Poetry anthology featuring 250 years of Black poets in the Americas (out in September 2020). Much of the research for the anthology was conducted at the Schomburg Center.

Young's most recent book of poetry, Brown (Knopf, 2018), and his nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts & Fake News (Graywolf, 2019), were both named New York Times Notable Books, and longlisted for the National Book Award. Bunk was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and named a "Best Book of 2017" by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Vogue, the Atlantic, and others. Young's previous nonfiction book, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (Graywolf Press, 2012), won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award; it was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2012 and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2016 and is University Distinguished Professor at Emory and the Bain-Swiggett Professor at Princeton for fall 2019.

Young is the editor of eight volumes, including The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (BOA Editions, 2012 and winner of the Hurston-Wright Prize); The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink (Bloomsbury, 2012); The Best American Poetry 2011; and The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing, one hundred and fifty devastatingly beautiful contemporary elegies that embrace the pain, heartbreak, and healing stages of mourning (Bloomsbury, 2010).

Also an editor, essayist, and curator, Young’s eleven books of poetry include: Brown (2018), a New York Times Notable Book; Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016), longlisted for the National Book Award; Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014); Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels  (Knopf, 2011), winner of an American Book Award; Dear Darkness (Knopf, 2008); For the Confederate Dead (Knopf, 2007); Black Maria (Knopf, 2005); To Repel Ghosts ("Remix," Knopf, 2005); Jelly Roll: a blues (Knopf, 2003), a finalist for the National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize; and Most Way Home (William Morrow, 1995), winner of the National Poetry Series and the Zacharis First Book Award.

Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and won the 2015 Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets—a prize that recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year.

Young’s poetry and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares and Callaloo.

From 2005-2016, Young served as Curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library—a 75,000-volume collection of rare and modern poetry housed at Emory University. As curator, Young was responsible for growing the collection, running a reading series, and mounting exhibitions. In 2008, Young was also named Curator of Literary Collections, and continued to add to the outstanding growing collections at Emory’s Rose Library, which holds the archives of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes; National Book Award–winner Lucille Clifton; influential iconoclasts Flannery O’Connor, Jack Kerouac, and Salman Rushdie; Pulitzer Prize–winners Alice Walker, Natasha Trethewey, and Alan Dugan; and current British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Named University Distinguished Professor at Emory University, Young was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. His many other honors include a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and an honorary doctorate from Beloit College.


Publications

For the Confederate Dead

For the Confederate Dead

To Repel Ghosts

To Repel Ghosts

Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll

Black Maria

Black Maria

Most Way Home

Most Way Home

Dear Darkness

Dear Darkness

The Art of Losing (editor)

The Art of Losing (editor)

Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels

Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels

The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (editor)

The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (editor)

The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink (editor)

The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink (editor)

Book of Hours

Book of Hours

Blue Laws

Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015

Bunk

Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists,  Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News

Brown           Brown: Poems