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Now in paperback, from the award-winning author of Jelly Roll and Book of Hours, a rich and lively gathering of highlights from the first twenty years of an extraordinary career, interspersed with "B sides" and "bonus tracks" from this prolific and widely acclaimed poet.

Blue Laws gathers poems written over the past two decades, drawing from all nine of Kevin Young's previously published books of poetry and including a number of uncollected, often unpublished, poems. From his stunning lyric debut (Most Way Home, 1995) and the amazing "double album" life of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2001;"remixed" for Knopf in 2005), through his brokenhearted Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003) and his recent forays into adult grief and the joys of birth in Dear Darkness (2008) and Book of Hours (2014), this collection provides a grand tour of a poet whose personal poems and political poems are equally riveting. Together with wonderful outtakes and previously unseen blues, the profoundly felt poems here of family, Southern food, and loss are of a piece with the depth of personal sensibility and humanity found in his Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels or bold sequences such as "The Ballad of Jim Crow" and a new "Homage to Phillis Wheatley."

Reviews

“Young is one of the most important poets of his generation. Encompassing 20 years of his work, the collection draws from and deepens the African American poetic tradition. Young brilliantly conveys the struggles and triumphs of those oppressed by slavery, economic hardship after emancipation, Jim Crow laws and prejudice that still tinge life today…Tremendous depth and breadth…builds toward the gorgeous work from 'Book of Hours,' where the speaker deals with the loss of his father and his own impending parenthood.” —Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post   “Young has become one of the poetry stars of his generation.” —Craig Morgan Teicher, Los Angeles Times   “Extensive and impressive…Young crafts voices that speak to the pleasures and pains of African-American lives, including his own…[his] often stunning confessional lines…will move the reader with their lyric starkness.” —Publishers Weekly

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780345807410

    September 15, 2017

    Doubleday US

    608 pages

    RRP $44.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780385351508

    February 15, 2016

    Doubleday US

    608 pages

    RRP $49.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Kevin Young

Brown
Book Of Hours
Ardency
For The Confederate Dead
Black Maria
Jazz Poems
Blues Poems

Recommendations

yesterday i was the moon
Fish In A Tree
Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
The Ode Less Travelled
Millefiori
Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Unreconciled
The Abandoned Settlements
The Bone Flowers
A Sackful of Limericks
Odes
Selected Poems
Of Love and Desire
Talking Dead
Made In Detroit
Deep Lane
Elegy For A Broken Machine
The Days of Surprise
Human Work