Kevin Young has published ten books of poetry and two books of essays. His passionate, rhythmic lyrics are rich with scenes from American history. Among many other honors, he was the 2014 winner of the Leonore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. Two volumes, "Blue Laws" (2016) and "Jelly Roll" (2003) were nominated for the National Book Award; his collection "Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels" (2011) won an American Book Award. "Jelly Roll" won the Paterson Poetry Prize. "Most Way Home" won the Zacharis First Book Award. His latest book, "Brown: A Book of Poems" (2018) is a New York Times Editors Choice selection and has been featured on NPR and many other national venues. The volume includes an oratorio, based on the life of Booker Wright, that was performed at Carnegie Hall. In addition to his many books of poems, Young is the author of "Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News," which won the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction and was long-listed for the National Book Award. "Bunk" was also named a "Best Book of 2017" by the LA Times, NPR, the Smithsonian, and other platforms.
As the Director of the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, Kevin Young helps shape the archival research agenda in black studies. As poetry editor for The New Yorker, he curates the poetry reading list for millions of readers around the world. At UCI, Young will read from his current book of poems, "Brown," and will address the role of fact and fiction in his own work and in the contemporary public sphere, from scholarship to the news.