Readings and conversation with The New Yorker's poetry editor, Kevin Young.
“To Claim What Has Tried to Claim Me”: A Roundtable on Asian-American Poetics
In a special episode of the Poetry Podcast, Kimiko Hahn, Monica Youn, Paul Tran, and Megan Fernandes join Kevin Young to read their work, and to discuss Asian-American poetics and the role of poetry in our tumultuous times.
Kimiko Hahn, a distinguished professor at Queens College, City University of New York, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has published ten books of poems, including, most recently, “Foreign Bodies.”
Monica Youn, a former lawyer and a member of the Racial Imaginary Institute, teaches at Princeton. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, she will publish a new book of poems, “From From,” in 2023.
Paul Tran, a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, has received a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a 92Y Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Their debut poetry collection, “All the Flowers Kneeling,” will be published in 2022.
Megan Fernandes is an assistant professor of English and writer-in-residence at Lafayette College. A finalist for the Kundiman Book Prize and the Saturnalia Book Prize, her most recent poetry collection is “Good Boys.”
Toi Derricotte Reads Tracy K. Smith
Toi Derricotte joins Kevin Young to read “We Feel Now a Largeness Coming On,” by Tracy K. Smith, and her own poem “I give in to an old desire.” Derricotte is a poet, memoirist, and co-founder, with Cornelius Eady, of the literary organization Cave Canem. Her honors include the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry and the Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement; in 2020, she received the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal, for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.
Margaret Atwood Reads Saeed Jones
Margaret Atwood joins Kevin Young to read “A Stranger,” by Saeed Jones, and her own poem “Flatline.” Atwood, a prolific poet and novelist, is known for brilliant books such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Blind Assassin.” Her many distinctions include the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, the pen Center U.S.A.’s lifetime-achievement award, and not one but two Booker Prizes, most recently for “The Testaments.” “Dearly,” her first collection of poetry in more than a decade, came out in November.
Arthur Sze Reads Robert Hass
Arthur Sze joins Kevin Young to read “The Problem of Describing Trees,” by Robert Hass, and his own poem “Vectors.” Sze has received the Landon Literary Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize and, in 2019, the National Book Award in Poetry.
Joy Harjo Reads Sandra Cisneros
Joy Harjo joins Kevin Young to read “Still-Life with Potatoes, Pearls, Raw Meat, Rhinestones, Lard, and Horse Hooves,” by Sandra Cisneros, and her own poem “Running.” Harjo is the current Poet Laureate of the United States, as well as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the Wallace Stevens Award.
Radical Imagination: Tracy K. Smith, Marilyn Nelson, and Terrance Hayes on Poetry in Our Times
In a special episode of the Poetry Podcast, Tracy K. Smith, Marilyn Nelson, and Terrance Hayes join Kevin Young to read their work, and to discuss its relationship to protest and liberation.
Tracy K. Smith served two terms as a U.S. poet laureate, and has won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a Pulitzer prize. Her latest collection is “Wade in the Water.” Marilyn Nelson writes poetry for adults, young adults, and children. Her honors include a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, an N. S. K. Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, and a Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America. Her new books, “Papa’s Free Day Party” and “Lubaya’s Quiet Roar,” are forthcoming. Terrance Hayes, a former MacArthur fellow, has won a Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism, a Hurston/Wright Award for Poetry, and a National Book Award in Poetry. His most recent publications include “To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight” and “American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin.”
Poetry and soul
Quite a marked shift from the original poet to the present. Just as the New Yorker has shifted greatly so does the podcast. Both are knowledgeable and insightful but I hope the New Yorker stays true to art and poetry and not modern political divisions, pseudo activism and identity politics. Poetry tends to the soul not the ego.
I love Kevin Young. Please keep the podcast alive. You have awakened me to the magic of poetry.
I miss you too!
Please continue this podcast. I know you are now closer to me at NMAAHC and that’s great, but I miss the podcast.