NATIONAL POETRY MONTH–KEVIN YOUNG


Poetry is a passion of mine. My first published work was poetry. Poetry is the heartbeat of words which bring out our emotions on a plain of lyrical understanding. Without the beauty of poetry, so much of humanity itself would be lost.

As such, I would like to take this month to honor four amazing Poets.

This first week of National Poetry Month, I’d like to honor and introduce you to award-winning poet Kevin Young.

Courtesy of Melanie Dunea CPI
Courtesy of Melanie Dunea CPI

Kevin Young is the author of seven previous books of poetry, including Ardency: A Chronicle of the 51hEze6nNbL._UY250_Amistad Rebels, winner of a 2012 American Book Award, and Jelly Roll, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the editor of eight other collections, most recently The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink. Young’s book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and won a PEN Open Book Award.

He is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English, curator of Literary Collections and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University.

Feel free to connect with Kevin on his websiteFacebook, and Twitter. To buy any of his magnificent works, please visit, Amazon.com.

Please enjoy his poem: Ode To Gumbo

Please enjoy his poem: Hard Headed Blues

Please enjoy:

Bereavement
Behind his house, my father’s dogs
sleep in kennels, beautiful,
he built just for them.

They do not bark.
Do they know he is dead?
They wag their tails

& head. They beg
& are fed.
Their grief is colossal

& forgetful.
Each day they wake
seeking his voice,

their names.
By dusk they seem
to unremember everything—

to them even hunger
is a game. For that, I envy.
For that, I cannot bear to watch them

pacing their cage. I try to remember
they love best confined space
to feel safe. Each day

a saint comes by to feed the pair
& I draw closer
the shades.

I’ve begun to think of them
as my father’s other sons,
as kin. Brothers-in-paw.

My eyes each day thaw.
One day the water cuts off.
Then back on.

They are outside dogs—
which is to say, healthy
& victorious, purposeful

& one giant muscle
like the heart. Dad taught
them not to bark, to point

out their prey. To stay.
Were they there that day?
They call me

like witnesses & will not say.
I ask for their care
& their carelessness—

wish of them forgiveness.
I must give them away.
I must find for them homes,

sleep restless in his.
All night I expect they pace
as I do, each dog like an eye

roaming with the dead
beneath an unlocked lid.

Excerpted from Book of Hours by Kevin Young. Copyright © 2014 by Kevin Young. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


 

Join me next week when I feature award-winning poet (and one of my personal favorites), Collin Kelley.

Until then,

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
Robert Frost

 

REFERENCES:

Both videos courtesy of YouTube.com.

 

 

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