Poets Kevin Young and Billy Collins

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Hot young black poet Kevin Young was born in Nebraska, raised in Kansas, descended from Louisiana, and now lives in Atlanta and Boston. His poetry - like his life - spans regions, worlds and genres. In "Black Maria" he evoked film noir. In "Jelly Roll" his poetry danced with the blues.

Now this African-American son of bayou and plains is taking on the inevitable, the undying — history. His new collection is "For the Confederate Dead." The title evokes Robert Lowell's "For the Union Dead," but this is a black man, in 2007, weighing the Confederacy, with a view all his own. And more. East Jesus. West Hell. Lionel Hampton in Paris.

This hour On Point: poet Kevin Young and "For the Confederate Dead."


Kevin Young, author of the poetry collection "For the Confederate Dead" and professor of English and creative writing at Emory University.

Billy Collins, former poet laureate of the United States, New York state poet laureate.

Donald King, director of the Providence, Rhode Island Black Repertory Company's adaptation of Kevin Young's work "Black Maria."

This program aired on January 25, 2007.

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Tom Ashbrook Former Host, On Point
Tom Ashbrook is an award-winning journalist and host of WBUR and NPR's On Point.



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