Poet Kevin Young to discuss book on ‘the blackness of blackness’

Poet Kevin Young with the Poynter Fellowship logo.

Kevin Young, a poet, archivist, and editor will speak at Yale on Wednesday, Jan. 31, as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Young’s talk — titled “The Grey Album,” the name of his award-winning 2012 book that explores “the blackness of blackness” — will take place at 2 p.m. in Rm. 250 of the Loria Center, 190 York St. The event is free and open to the public.

Young, who has been described as a Renaissance man, is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a Harlem branch of the New York Public Library. As of November, he is also the poetry editor at the New Yorker.

An acclaimed poet himself, Young is the author of 10 books of poetry that have earned numerous accolades and awards. He has published two non-fiction books, and his most recent, “Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News,” was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2017. He has also edited eight volumes of poetry.

Before joining the Schomburg Center, Young was curator of Emory’s Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, which contains 75,000 volumes of rare and modern poetry.  At Emory, Young was named University Distinguished Professor, and in 2016, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Young is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship.

Young graduated from Harvard College, and during his time at Cambridge, he was a member of the Dark Room Collective, an African-American poets’ group. He also received a Master of Fine Arts from Brown University.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are Andrea Gibson, Vinson Cunningham, and Elizabeth Kolbert.