Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1970, Kevin Young is one of the most playful, dynamic, and death-defying—which is to say death-facing—writers in America today, and a man of many moving parts. As Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and English at Emory University in Atlanta he is also curator of its Literary Collections and Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. As a poet his books include Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003), For the Confederate Dead (2007), the film noir Black Maria: Poems Produced and Directed by Kevin Young (20078), Dear Darkness (2008), Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amidstad Rebels (2011), and Book of Hours (2014), and the forthcoming Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015. As an editor he has produced works as disparate as The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010 and the back-pocket marvel Blues Poems; as a critic he devised the nearly 500-page manifesto The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (2012), which fuses memoir, fantasy, and scholarship into a manifesto that has many lives behind it and a life of its own to live.