Monmouth University

Center for the Arts

Past Event

Visiting Writers

Kevin Young

Kevin Young is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and is widely regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation. Young is also poetry editor at The New Yorker.

Also an editor, essayist, and curator, Young’s ten books of poetry include: Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016), longlisted for the National Book Award; Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014); Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels(Knopf, 2011), winner of an American Book Award; Dear Darkness (Knopf, 2008); For the Confederate Dead (Knopf, 2007); Black Maria (Knopf, 2005); To Repel Ghosts (“Remix,” Knopf, 2005); Jelly Roll: a blues(Knopf, 2003), a finalist for the National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize; and Most Way Home(William Morrow, 1995), winner of the National Poetry Series and the Zacharis First Book Award. His newest book of poetry is Brown(Knopf, April 2018).

Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Awardand won the 2015 Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets—a prize that recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year. In the Judges citation, A. Van Jordan wrote: “As if walking through a gallery of grief, reverie, and transcendence, Kevin Young’s Book of Hours exemplifies what poetry can do in the world when language works at its full power. The poems in this collection hold emotion taut on each line while allowing for the nimbleness of language to drape over them, bringing tension between the heart and the mind, as Young consistently surprises us with profound elegance.” Actor and author Mary-Louise Parker has described it as a memoir-in-verse and that “These glorious verses put me in some kind of trance.”

Young’s nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (Graywolf Press November 14, 2017), is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, was longlisted for the National Book Award, received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, 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, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Dallas Morning News, Smithsonian, Vogue, Atlantic, Nylon, BuzzFeed, and Electric Literature. His previous nonfiction book, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (2012), 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. The PEN judges said of the book: “Like Duke Ellington’s fabled, Harlem-bound A Train, Kevin Young’s The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness propels us across a panorama of African American history, creativity, and struggle with a lightning-brisk brilliance and purpose. Here’s what happens when an acclaimed poet makes his first foray into nonfiction: madcap manifesto and rhapsodic reportage create a formidable blend of scholarship and memoir that tackles cultural and personal history in one breath. Young goes far beyond just being a documentarian of American Black identity—he shows us how Black identity is indispensable to American culture.”

Young is the editor of eight volumes, including The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965 – 2010 (BOA Editions, 2012 and winner of the Hurston-Wright Prize); The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink (Bloomsbury, 2012); The Best American Poetry 2011; and The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing, one hundred and fifty devastatingly beautiful contemporary elegies that embrace the pain, heartbreak, and healing stages of mourning (Bloomsbury, 2010). Young’s poetry and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and Callaloo.

From 2005-2016, Kevin Young served as Curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library—a 75,000-volume collection of rare and modern poetry housed at Emory University. As curator, Young was responsible for growing the collection, running a reading series, and mounting exhibitions. In 2008, Young was also named Curator of Literary Collections, and continued to add to the outstanding growing collections at Emory’s Rose Library, which holds the archives of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes; National Book Award–winner Lucille Clifton; influential iconoclasts Flannery O’Connor, Jack Kerouac, and Salman Rushdie; Pulitzer Prize–winners Alice Walker, Natasha Trethewey, and Alan Dugan; and current British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

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 Foundation Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and an honorary doctorate from Beloit College.

Box Office: 732.263.6889

Apr02, 2019

4:30 PM

Free and open to the public

Related Events

Water Lilies of Monet: The Magic of Water and Light

Jun 3

7:30 PM
Pollak Theatre

Great Art on Screen

Water Lilies of Monet: The Magic of Water and Light

Voyage through the masterpieces and obsessions of the genius and founder of Impressionism, Claude Monet. An art-world disruptor at the turn of the 20th century whose obsession with capturing light and water broke all convention, Monet revolutionized Modern Art with his timeless masterpieces.

An in-depth, exclusive tour led by Monet scholars of the museums that house the largest collections of the prolific artist’s lilies paintings including the Musée Marmottan Monet, the Orsay Museum, the world-famous panels at L’Orangerie and concluding with Monet’s own house and gardens at Giverny, the site where his fascination for water lilies was born.

Buy Tickets

Summer Encore Series: The Audience
Broadcast in HD

Jun 14

7 PM
Pollak Theatre

Live Theatre Broadcasts in HD

National Theatre: Broadcast in HD

Summer Encore Series: The Audience

Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren (The Queen), plays Queen Elizabeth II in the Tony Award®-winning production of The Audience. Captured live from London’s West End in 2013, the original broadcast returns to cinemas to mark National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday. For 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has met with each of her 12 prime ministers in a private weekly meeting. This meeting is known as The Audience. No one knows what they discuss, not even their spouses. From the old warrior Winston Churchill, to Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher and finally David Cameron, the Queen advises her prime ministers on all matters both public and personal. Through these private audiences, we see glimpses of the woman behind the crown and witness the moments that shaped a monarch.

Buy Tickets

Carmen Suite/Petrushka
Broadcast in HD

Jun 26

7 PM
Pollak Theatre

The Bolshoi Ballet

Carmen Suite/Petrushka

Carmen is as sensual and free-spirited as ever as she finds herself caught in a love triangle. The passionate one act ballet by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso, originally conceived for legendary Bolshoi prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, will captivate audiences alongside Petrushka, a new creation for the Bolshoi by contemporary choreographer Edward Clug. The double-bill event for cinemas encapsulates and showcases the soul of Russian Ballet.

Buy Tickets

Summer Encore Series: Romeo et Juliet
Broadcast in HD

Jul 10

7 PM
Pollak Theatre

The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD

Summer Encore Series: Romeo et Juliet

A pair of charismatic artists, tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano Diana Damrau, are the star-crossed lovers of Gounod’s dreamy adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy. Gianandrea Noseda conducts.

Buy Tickets

Calling All Divas

Jul 11

8 PM
Pollak Theatre

Performing Arts Series

Calling All Divas

CALLING ALL DIVAS is a pop, rock, soul, and country hit parade – positively affirming the power of music, friendship, and sisterhood through the journey of Frankie, a struggling, wanna-be hit songwriter, as he scours the city to find the next “Un4gettable” female voice in a desperate plan to save a faltering iconic music nightspot from closing its doors. Along the way, he gloriously finds far more than he could have ever imagined! Academy Award-winning songwriter Franke Previte (Dirty Dancing) and world-renowned live show specialist Michael LaFleur (Disney, Universal, Celine Dion, etc.) have joined forces to deliver this unique, musical celebration of the timeless tunes and talents of Etta James, Carole King, The Pointer Sisters, Kelly Clarkson, Aretha Franklin, Miley Cyrus, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, and many more … as well as original favorites by Previte himself.

Buy Tickets

Let’s Keep In Touch!