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Kevin Young
Kevin Young Enlarge Photo

Photo © 2013 Melanie Dunea - CPi

  • About this Author
author spotlight

Kevin Young is the author of six previous collections of poetry and editor of five others. Jelly Roll was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and won the Paterson Poetry Prize; For the Confederate Dead won the 2007 Quill Award for poetry. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a United States Artists James Baldwin Fellowship, Young is currently 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.

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Exam Copy
Ardency
A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels
Written by Kevin Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: September 18, 2012
Price: $19.95

Now in paperback, a haunting chorus of voices that tells the story of the captivity, education, language, hopes, dreams, and fight for freedom, of the African Americans abducted in the Amistad rebellion.

Based on the 1840 mutiny on board the slave ship Amistad, Ardency begins with "Buzzard," a sequence of poems told... Read more >

Exam Copy
Black Maria

Written by Kevin Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: March 20, 2007
Price: $16.00

Kevin Young follows his acclaimed exploration of the blues in Jelly Roll with another playful riff on a vital art form, giving us a film noir in verse. Black Maria–the title is a slang term for a police van as well as a hearse–is a twisting tale of suspicion, passion, mystery... Read more >

Exam Copy
Blues Poems

Edited by Kevin Young


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: September 2, 2003
Price: $14.95

Born in African American work songs, field hollers, and the powerful legacy of the spirituals, the blues traveled the country from the Mississippi delta to “Sweet Home Chicago,” forming the backbone of American music. In this anthology—the first devoted exclusively to blues poems—a wide array of poets pay tribute to the... Read more >

Exam Copy
Book of Hours
Poems
Written by Kevin Young


Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: March 4, 2014
Price: $26.95

A decade after the sudden and tragic loss of his father, we witness the unfolding of grief. “In the night I brush / my teeth with a razor,” he tells us, in one of the collection’s piercing two-line poems. Capturing the strange silence of bereavement (“Not the storm / but the... Read more >

Exam Copy
Dear Darkness
Poems
Written by Kevin Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 216 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $18.00

Las Vegas, Nashville, despair, the Midwest, “Bar-B-Q Heaven” and his family’s Louisiana home: these are the American places that Kevin Young visits in his powerful, heartfelt sixth book of poetry. Begun as a reflection on family and memory, Dear Darkness became a book of elegies after the sudden death of the... Read more >

Exam Copy
For the Confederate Dead

Written by Kevin Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 176 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: September 9, 2008
Price: $16.95

In this passionate new collection, Kevin Young takes up a range of African American griefs and passages. He opens with the beautiful “Elegy for Miss Brooks,” invoking Gwendolyn Brooks, who died in 2000, and who makes a perfect muse for the volume: “What the devil / are we without you?” he... Read more >

Exam Copy
Jazz Poems

Edited by Kevin Young


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Everyman's Library
On Sale: April 11, 2006
Price: $14.95

Ever since its first flowering in the 1920s, jazz has had a powerful influence on American poetry, and this scintillating anthology offers a treasury of poems as varied and vital as the music that inspired them.

From the Harlem Renaissance to the Beat Movement, from the poets of the New York... Read more >

Exam Copy
Jelly Roll

Written by Kevin Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: February 1, 2005
Price: $18.00

In this jaunty and intimate collection, Kevin Young invents a language as shimmying and comic, as low-down and high-hearted, as the music from which he draws inspiration. With titles such as “Stride Piano,” “Gutbucket,” and “Can-Can,” these poems have the sharp completeness of vocalized songs and follow a classic blues trajectory... Read more >

Exam Copy
To Repel Ghosts
The Remix
Written by Kevin Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: September 27, 2005
Price: $20.00

As Kevin Young explains in his introduction to this “remix” of To Repel Ghosts, his “discography” of the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat was originally published in a "double-album" version of 350 pages, but for our new paperback he has scaled it back to an “alternate take” that, at about half that... Read more >
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