Kevin Young and Robin Coste Lewis: Two Writers Talking about Poetry, Black Culture and America via Zoom (11/11)
Knpof Doubleday presents Kevin Young, whose most recent poetry collection is BROWN (Knopf), and Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award for VOYAGE OF THE SABLE GENIUS (Knopf), at a virtual event, Two Writers Talking: Poetry, Black Culture and America, moderated by Well-Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim, via Zoom on Wednesday, November 11 at 7:00 pm (ET).
Lewis’s National Book Award-winning debut poetry collection is a meditation on the black female figure through time. In the center of the collection is the title poem, “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” an amazing narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. Bracketed by Lewis’s own autobiographical poems, “Voyage” is a tender and shocking meditation on the fragmentary mysteries of stereotype, juxtaposing our names for things with what we actually see and know.
The prizewinning author of Blue Laws, Young meditates on all things “brown” in this powerful new collection, including James Brown, John Brown’s raid, and Brown v. the Topeka Board of Ed. Divided into “Home Recordings” and “Field Recordings,” Brown speaks to the way personal experience is shaped by culture, while culture is forever affected by the personal, recalling a Black Kansas boyhood to comment on our times.
Kevin Young is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and poetry editor for The New Yorker. He is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, including Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, longlisted for the National Book Award; and Book of Hours, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Young’s book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, a New York Times Notable Book, was longlisted for the National Book Award and appeared on many “best of” lists for 2017. His collection Jelly Roll: A Blues was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. His nonfiction book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He is the editor of eight other collections and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Robin Coste Lewis, the winner of the National Book Award for Voyage of the Sable Venus, is the poet laureate of Los Angeles. She is writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California, as well as a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her BA from Hampshire College, her MFA in poetry from New York University, an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University, and a PhD in poetry and visual studies from the University of Southern California. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans.
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