An evening event of the 2014 Callaloo Conference held at Emory University, the annual Phillis Wheatley Poetry Reading featured Jericho Brown and Kevin Young reading their own work. Former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey greets conference attendees and welcomes Vievee Frances, poet and Callaloo associate editor, who introduces Brown and Young.
Callaloo, a journal of African diaspora arts and letters, held its 2014 conference at Emory University from October 15–18. This event brought together creative and critical voices from in and outside the US to present and discuss artistic expressions ranging from poetry, the visual arts, fiction, and music to archiving and cultural preservation. Southern Spaces video-recorded this remarkable conference and, in collaboration with Callaloo, presents a series of highlights, beginning with the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Reading. Southern Spaces thanks Callaloo founder and editor Charles Henry Rowell, managing editor Jackson Brown, and Emory provost Claire Sterk for their support of this conference and series.
Greetings by Natasha Trethewey
I am Natasha Trethewey, the Director of the Creative Writing Program and I’m pleased to welcome you to this year’s Phillis Wheatley Reading, an annual event co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Department of African-American Studies at Emory University. We’re pleased tonight to present this reading as a part of the Callaloo Conference, which we are hosting this year at Emory, an event that would not be possible without our many generous sponsors across campus, the work of Paula Vitaris in the Creative Writing Program, and especially the planning and organization carried out singlehandedly by the remarkable Sarita Alami to whom I owe the greatest of debts. On behalf of all of us here at Emory I’d like to thank the Callaloo Conference participants, staff, volunteers, and editor Charles Rowell. We are especially delighted that tonight’s event is one of the highlights of the conference, showcasing the work of two of Emory’s own poets, Jericho Brown and Kevin Young, both of whom have new books out this year that we are celebrating.
Brown, Jericho. The New Testament. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2014.
———. Please. Kalamazoo, MI: New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2008.
Finney, Nikky, ed.The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. A Cave Canem Anthology. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.
Hinzen, Parul Kapur. "The Everyday Extraordinary: Parul Kapur Hinzen interviews Kevin Young," Guernica, December 1, 2014. https://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/the-everyday-extraordinary.
McEwen, Missy. "IAI Discusses Poetry with Jericho Brown," Immunization against Invisibility, January 18, 2009. http://immunizationagainstinvisibility.blogspot.com/2009/01/i-i-discusses-poetry-with-jericho-brown.html.
Young, Kevin. Book of Hours. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
———. The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2012.
Jericho Brown, http://www.jerichobrown.com.
Kevin Young: Official Website, http://kevinyoungpoetry.com.