The New York Public Library has announced that Kevin Young will become director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Young has been serving as the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta. He also served as curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and curator of literary collections at the newly named Rose Library. Professor Young will begin his new job this fall.
William P. Kelly, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries for The New York Public Library, stated that “across his writing, his curatorial work, and his teaching, Kevin has mapped a deeply textured account of American life. From his Amistad poems through his trenchant accounts of the lives and languages of both ordinary men and women and public figures such as Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali, and Billie Holiday, to his insightful analyses of jazz, blues, and hip-hop forms, Kevin has described the trajectory of 400 years of national experience. His syncretic accounts of American social, musical, and cultural history are notable both for the breadth of their vision and for the vertiginous pleasures they afford. We look forward to having Kevin among us.”
In 2015 Professor Young won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his poetry collection, Book of Hours (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014). Professor Young has published 11 books including The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (Graywolf Press, 2012), which won the PEN Open Book Award and was a finalist in the criticism category for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has edited eight other books.
Professor Young is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Brown University.