Kevin Young

Kevin Young, photo by Melanie Dunea
Kevin Young, photo by Melanie Dunea

Kevin Young is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture—newly named a National Historic Landmark—and poetry editor of the New Yorker. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Brown, released in April; Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, long-listed for the National Book Award; and Book of Hours, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His collection Jelly Roll: A Blues was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Young’s nonfiction book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in nonfiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, was long-listed for the National Book Award, and named a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” selection, and a best book of 2017 by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smithsonian, Vogue, the Atlantic, Nylon, BuzzFeed, and Electric Literature. Young’s previous nonfiction book, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award; it was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2012 and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

Named University Distinguished Professor at Emory University, Young was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. His many other honors include a Stegner Fellowship in poetry at Stanford University, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and an honorary doctorate degree from Beloit College.


selected bibliography

Brown: Poems (2018)
Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (2017)
Book of Hours by Kevin Young
Book of Hours (2014)
Jelly Roll: A Blues by Kevin Young
Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003)

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online resources

Kevin Young’s website
“A poetry collection that squints hard at the culture, in pain and in joy,” the New York Times Book Review, April 26, 2018
“Young examines all things ‘Brown,'” NPR interview, April 25, 2018
“Moon shot: race, a hoax, and the birth of fake news,” an excerpt from Bunk in the New Yorker, October 21, 2017

Video: Young at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.