Kevin Young, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing

Primary Office: 876 Woodruff Library
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By appointment
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At Emory Since:


A.B., Harvard University
M.F.A., Brown University 

Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English
Curator of Literary Collections, MARBL
Curator, Raymond Danowski Poetry Library 


Blues Poems

Black Maria

Kevin YoungKevin Young is the author of six poetry collections, and editor of five others. His most recent book of poems, Dear Darkness, was published in September 2008 by Knopf and won the Southern Independent Bookseller's Award in poetry; it was also featured on National Public Radio and in The New Yorker as one of the best books of that year. Young's fifth collection, For the Confederate Dead, won the 2007 Quill Award in Poetry and has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and on NPR. Young's anthology The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing appeared in March 2010 from Bloomsbury. The Grey Album, Young's book on music and literature, recently won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize and is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2012.

Young's first book, Most Way Home, was selected for the National Poetry Series by Lucille Clifton, and later won the Zacharis First Book Prize from Ploughshares. His second book, To Repel Ghosts, a "double album" based on the work of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, was a finalist for the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and was reissued in a "remix" version in 2005. Young's third poetry collection, Jelly Roll, won the Paterson Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for both the National Book Award in 2003 and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His fourth collection, Black Maria, a film noir in verse, was also staged in a dramatic version by the Providence Black Repertory Theater.

Young's poetry and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Callaloo, and many other journals and anthologies. He is editor of the anthology Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers, The Library of America's John Berryman: Selected Poems, the Everyman's Library Pocket Poet anthology Blues Poems, and a companion Jazz Poems. Kevin Young has an A.B. in English and American Literature from Harvard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, he is a recent Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and NEA Literature Fellow in Poetry. Recently named the United States Artists James Baldwin Fellow, Young is currently Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University. His website can be found at