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Yusef Komunyakaa: A Celebration

May 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 9:30 pm

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Join us for a reading by Yusef Komunyakaa and other renowned poets and scholars, preceded by a day of events at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House. Co-presented with NYU Creative Writing Program, with support from the PEN World Voices Festival and the Poetry Foundation. Free and open to the public.



Special thanks to our featured event sponsors Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP)HarperCollins; Boston University; NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Red Olive Creative Consulting; Dr. Safiya Sinclair & Mitchell S. Jackson; Kwame Dawes; Marie-Elizabeth Mali; and Dawn Lundy Martin!


Yusef Komunyakaa‘s numerous books of poems include Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999; Talking Dirty to the Gods; Thieves of Paradise, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award; Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Magic City; Dien Cai Dau, which won the Dark Room Poetry Prize; I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head, winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Award; Copacetic; and most recently, The Emperor of Water Clocks. Komunyakaa’s prose is collected in Blue Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries. He also co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology and co-translated The Insomnia of Fire by Nguyen Quang Thieu. His honors include the William Faulkner Prize from the Universite Rennes, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, where he served as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Yusef Komunyakaa is a senior faculty member in the NYU Creative Writing Program.


NYU Lillian Vernon House
58 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10003


NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, Rosenthal Pavilion
60 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Visit NYU’s website for information regarding directions and parking.


10 – 11:30 am: NYU Lillian Vernon House
Morning Share: Stories, Lessons and Reflections from Working with Yusef Komunyakaa featuring Cornelius Eady, Brian Francis, Pamela KnowlesJerome Ellison Murphy, Dante MicheauxSharon OldsHermine Pinson, Nicole Sealey and Soren Stockman.

12 – 1:30 pm: NYU Lillian Vernon House
Love in the Time of War: Art as a Tool for Reflecting Violent Realities and a Strategy for Imagining Peace featuring Maurice Emerson DecaulToi Derricotte, Tyehimba JessKevin Young and Javier Zamora.

3 – 4:30 pm: NYU Lillian Vernon House
How Deep the Heart Runs: Yusef Komunyakaa’s Former Students Read featuring Amanda CalderonMichael CollinsRio Cortez, DéLana R.A. Dameron, Alysia Nicole Harris, Ishion Hutchinson, Daria-Ann Martineau, Dante Micheaux, John Murillo and Jenny Xie.

7 – 9:30 pm: NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, Rosenthal Pavilion
Speaking Joy and Pain: A Tribute to Yusef Komunyakaa Culminating Reading featuring Yusef KomunyakaaTomás Doncker, Tyehimba Jess, Gregory Pardlo, Sharon Olds and Hermine Pinson.







May 11, 2019
10:00 am - 9:30 pm


NYU Lillian Vernon House
58 W 10th Street
New York, NY 10003 United States
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