Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reading Kevin Young in 2015

A collection of Kevin Young books

This year reading Kevin Young was especially exciting because he was giving a reading this summer while I was in Kansas. I had been reading and purchasing his books for a little over 10 years, and I had only gotten two autographed. So in addition to checking out his reading, I was going to get him to sign books.

Mission accomplished.  He signed several.

This year, I mostly returned to Young's book Dear Darkness. I was working on an arts project and shared that book with groups of high school students. In preparation, I re-read several of the poems in that volume.

For those of us interested in African American book history, Young's prolific publishing offers many rewards. A book bearing his name has appeared in print nearly every year since 2000. The designs and frequency of his publications, thus, always presents opportunities to consider material production.


Back in February, I took a look at the multiple versions of Young's To Repel Ghosts. More than most of the poets I read, Young has hardcover and paperback versions of poetry volumes. But To Repel Ghosts even has a remix, which led to more versions. 

Early next year, Young will publish Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015. So, as with years past, I'll be reading his old and new poems. 

A Notebook on 2015 Poetry Reflections
Reading Kevin Young in 2014
Kevin Young
Kevin Young's book publications   

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