Respected scholar and current New Yorker magazine poetry editor Kevin Young will deliver the 2023 Roy and Margaret Shilling Lecture on Oct. 13, 2023, in the Alma Thomas Theater at Southwestern University. The title of his talk is “The History of Poetry & The Poetry of History.”

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Considered one of the leading poets of his generation, Young has written fifteen books of poetry and prose. He hosts the New Yorker’s poetry podcast in addition to serving as that magazine’s poetry editor.

From 2016 to 2021, Young was the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He also curated the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, a significant collection of rare and modern poetry at Emory University.

His works include Brown, featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. His Book of Hours, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, won the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. His collection Jelly Roll: a blues was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2021, his book of poetry Stones was recognized as one of Library Journal’s Top Ten poetry titles and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.

Young has also published nonfiction works. His book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction and was a finalist for various prestigious awards. Another nonfiction work, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award.

Along with his many publications and recognitions, Young is a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2020. In 2021 he was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and recently became a Fellow of the Society of American Historians.

The biennial Shilling Lecture was established in 1999 by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, to honor Southwestern’s 13th president, Roy B. Shilling Jr., and his wife, Margaret. The Shilling Lecture allows the greater Southwestern University community to engage with ideas from multiple perspectives, hear insightful discussions, and interact with experts and influential figures on campus.