Ever since its first flowering, jazz has had a powerful influence on American poetry; this scintillating anthology offers a treasury of poems that are as varied and as vital as the music that inspired them.
From the Harlem Renaissance to the beat movement, from the poets of the New York school to the contemporary poetry scene, the jazz aesthetic has been a compelling literary force—one that Jazz Poems makes palpable. We hear it in the poems of Langston Hughes, E. E. cummings, William Carlos Williams, Frank O’Hara, and Gwendolyn Brooks, and in those of Yusef Komunyakaa, Charles Simic, Rita Dove, Ntozake Shange, Mark Doty, William Matthews, and C. D. Wright. Here are poems that pay tribute to jazz’s great voices, and poems that throb with the vivid rhythm and energy of the jazz tradition, ranging in tone from mournful elegy to sheer celebration.
Kevin Young is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and poetry editor of the New Yorker, where he also hosts the poetry podcast. From 2016-2020 he served as the director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Brown (Knopf, 2018), as featured on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah; Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016), longlisted for the National Book Award; and Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. His collection Jelly Roll: a blues (Knopf, 2003) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Young’s second nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts & Fake News (Graywolf Press, 2017), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book. He is the editor of nine other collections, including the anthology African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, from Library of America, which New York Times literary critic Parul Sehgal named one of her top 10 books of the year and which the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, TIME, the Atlantic, Good Morning America, O, the Oprah Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Shelf Awareness, Lit Hub, and Barnes & Noble named one of the best books of 2020.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2020. In May 2021, he will be inducted into the Academy of Arts and Letters.
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
Item Weight : 8.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.43 x 0.71 x 6.48 inches