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Episode 79: Al Young

Thursday, September 29, 2022
Episode Summary

Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson reads Al Young's poem "Dawn at Oakland Airport."

Participant(s) Bio

Poet, novelist and professor Al Young was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He attended the University of Michigan before moving to the San Francisco Bay area, where he earned a BA in Spanish from the University of California-Berkeley. Young often read to musical accompaniment, and his poetry reflected his interest in music, specifically jazz and blues, as well as his life in California. His collections of poetry include Dancing: Poems (1969), The Song Turning Back Into Itself (1971), The Blues Don’t Change: New and Selected Poems (1982), Heaven: Collected Poems 1956–1990 (1992), The Sound of Dreams Remembered: Poems 1990–2000 (2001), Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons: Poems 2001–2006, and Something About the Blues: An Unlikely Collection of Poetry (2008).

Young received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He served as poet laureate of California in 2005. He died in early 2021.