Kevin Young (born November 8, 1970) is an American poet and teacher of poetry. Young graduated from Harvard College in 1992, held a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University (1992–94), and received his Master of Fine Arts from Brown University. While in Boston and Providence, he was part of the African-American poetry group, the Dark Room Collective. He is heavily influenced by the poets Langston Hughes, John Berryman, and Emily Dickinson and by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
And now to one of his poems..
by Kevin Young
Wake to find everything black
what was white, all the vice
versa—white maids on TV, black
sitcoms that star white dwarfs
cute as pearl buttons. Black Presidents,
Black Houses. White horse
candidates. All bleach burns
clothes black. Drive roads
white as you are, white songs
on the radio stolen by black bands
like secret pancake recipes, white back-up
singers, ball-players & boxers all
white as tar. Feathers on chickens
dark as everything, boiling in the pot
that called the kettle honky. Even
whites of the eye turn dark, pupils
clear & changing as a cat's.
Is this what we've wanted
& waited for? to see snow
covering everything black
as Christmas, dark pages written
white upon? All our eclipses bright,
dark stars shooting across pale
sky, glowing like ash in fire, shower
every skin. Only money keeps
green, still grows & burns like grass
under dark daylight.
I'll leave you with a more recent link from 2014 to an interview with Kevin Young with Terry Gross where he talks about blues, poetry, and 'laughing to keep from crying.'