Each week, WW writer John Minervini brings you the latest in book reviews, author Q&A's and Portland literary gossip. Click here to join the Tome Raider mailing list.
Kevin Young
28-year-old badass poet who's gotten more recognition since he graduated from Harvard University than most milquetoast rhymesters will see in a lifetime.
The New Yorker
The Paris Review
Dear Darkness (Knopf, 196 pages, $26.95)
“But the Blues come back for you, I've discovered.”
Dear Darkness
For the Confederate Dead
Not bad.
Dear Darkness
The battered black box I brought from my grandmother's house . held yellowed bills, receipts for seed, chicken feed, and envelopes . full of promissory notes— my inheritance held . in a box held together by masking . tape, and more tape, browning the metal, hinging it shut. . Everything hinged on what bloomed inside . among the muggy smell of old paper, and loans . long since forgiven—the seed bought against earnings . in Sunset, the mill NOT RESPONSIBLE . FOR UNATTENDED COTTON LEFT IN THE YARD . ALREADY GINNED My grandfather's signature . few carbons held— most bore the John . Hancock of some boss I picture like death . or debt, looming— misspelling Da Da's name. . Both, we hope, are final—or is it only debt . that lives on forever? I owe . them my life, my grandparents who fought the elements . and the earth to raise me up, and us, planted the seeds . of cotton, of promise no box, nor coffin, can contain— . though this black, broken, unlocked box, secured . and scarred by tape, comes close.