Kevin Young's poetry often examines his extensive Deep South roots. Although Young was born and raised in the Midwest, his parents were from Louisiana, and ties to the family's Cajun heritage have remained strong throughout his life. Dear Darkness, Young's sixth collection of poems, in which "Aunties" appears, was particularly inspired by the joy, sorrow, and food he came to associate with Louisiana. Completed in 2008, following the sudden death of Young's father, the book is at once infused with the sadness of his loss, and enlivened by the poet's wry but enthusiastic celebration of his southern roots. "I do not want/ to get good/ at grief-," he writes in "Elegy for Maque Choux," a poem in the collection. In addition to Dear Darkness, Young has written five other books of poetry, including For the Confederate Dead (2007), Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003), and Most Way Home (1995), which was selected for the National Poetry Series. Young's other honors include a Stegner Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. He is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University in Atlanta.
To read this and other poems by Kevin Young, as well as biographical information about the poet, please visit the Poetry Foundation Web site.