Acclaimed poet CalArts’ writer-in-residence

California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Kevin Young, poet and poetry editor for The New Yorker, is the 2019 writer-in-residence at California Institute of the Arts. He will conduct workshops with CalArts students and present a public reading Feb. 7.

Young is poetry editor at The New Yorker and director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Harper’s Magazine has described the poet, who has published 13 collections of poetry, as “a relaxed lyricist, precise without being precious, and he expresses enormous feeling with great economy. He’s a natural storyteller.”

“As an award-winning poet, essayist, collector, editor, and director of the Schomburg Center, the moves Kevin has made in the arts exemplify the kind of creative life we celebrate in our program, explored not on a single track, but through interrelated fields of inquiry, experimentation and play. His work is inventive, incisive and crucial to the conversation we’re always having about life, art and how we make the culture we live in,” said Tisa Bryant, director of Cal-Arts’ MFA creative writing program.

“Brown,” Young’s most recent book of poetry, was called “a universal shout—political in the best, most visceral way — while remaining at the same time deeply and lovingly personal” by the New York Times. The Times also hailed Young’s “Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News” as “enthralling, essential history.” 

The Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence Program is designed to bring a prestigious writer to campus for a public reading, a classroom visit and to meet with students in one-to-one sessions. The program offers a unique opportunity for students to gain hitherto unprecedented access to leaders in their field, to discuss professional working methods, and to receive feedback on their own work.

The reading will be held 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at CalArts’ Langley Hall, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia. For more information, visit

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