March 4, 2014

Kevin Young Reads Poem About Miscarriage In His Poetry Voice

Writer Kevin Young was on NPR Fresh Air today talking about his new book of poetry, Book of Hours. It sounds like it's largely associated with the unexpected death of his father, and then becoming a father himself.

Young also wrote a poem about he and his wife dealing with a miscarriage. Terry Gross asked Young just what I had been thinking: how long after an experience do you start writing a poem about it?

I think the hardest thing, really, is trying not to write. There's a real desire as a poet to make a poem and you're almost just writing for survival right after. You don't know anything else.
It's the parentblogger's dilemma, too; every writer's, really, whose process is to turn life into content. However long it takes to actually do something with it, you're always on the lookout for material.

Interestingly, the moment Young decided to stop writing about his son was when the kid learned to talk. A slightly too-early milestone, perhaps, but symbolically solid.

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying' [freshair.npr.org]
Buy Book of Hours: Poems at Amazon for around $20 [amazon]

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