Yusef Komunyakaa

22 Feb

Today’s post subject, Yusef Komunyakaa, is a poet, professor, and scholar who has been described as one who “takes on the most complex moral issues, the most harrowing ugly subjects of our American life. His voice, whether it embodies the specific experiences of a black man, a soldier in Vietnam, or a child in Bogalusa, Louisiana, is universal. It shows us in ever deeper ways what it is to be human.”

Poetry Foundation has a biography and bibliography – check it out here.

Komunyakaa provides some insight on his thoughts about poetry: “Poetry is a kind of distilled insinuation. It’s a way of expanding and talking around an idea or a question. Sometimes, more actually gets said through such a technique than a full frontal assault.”

You can check out about 100 lectures and readings on YouTube. If you prefer to listen only, check out these MP3S.

Some of his poems are available online; here are just a few. Poets.org offers up a few, which they display in a pretty neat flow-y way.



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