Kevin Young was born in 1970 in Lincoln, Neb. He is Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, a 75,000-volume rare book library, at Emory University.
Young has written five volumes of poetry: “Most Way Home” (1995, a National Poetry Series selection); “To Repel Ghosts” (2001); “Jelly Roll: A Blues” (2003); “Black Maria” (2005); and “For the Confederate Dead” (2007).
“Writing is a necessity, you know. It’s not just fun, though it can be fun, and it’s not just torture, though it can be torture, too,” says Young. “I think the point is really to find that middle ground between pleasure and necessity, and for me that’s what a poem is.”
Young has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature from Harvard and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Brown. His honors include a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and NEA literature fellowship in poetry.
In this web exclusive clip, Kevin Young reads more of his poetry.