Kevin Young

Johanna Lawshea

Kevin Young is the author of ten previous books of poetry and prose including Jelly Roll: a blues, a 2003 poetry finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award; Book of Hours, a 2015 finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the 2015 Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry; and Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels. Young’s nonfiction book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blacknesswon the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He is the editor of several collections, including The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010 and The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink.Blue Laws (Alfred A. Knopf) was nominated for the National Book Award in Poetry. Blue Laws gathers poems written over the past two decades, drawing from all nine of Kevin Young’s previously published books of poetry and including several uncollected, often unpublished, poems. From his stunning lyric debut (Most Way Home, 1995) and the amazing “double album” life of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2001, “remixed” for Knopf in 2005), through his brokenhearted Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003) and his recent forays into adult grief and the joys of birth in Dear Darkness (2008) and Book of Hours (2014), this collection provides a grand tour of a poet whose personal poems and political poems are equally riveting.