To Repel Ghosts by Kevin Young

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Synopsis

1980s Painter Jean-Michel Basquiat led a brief, admittedly glamorous and tragic life, finally joining "that stupid club" of cultural figures who self-destructed at an early age. To Repel Ghosts is Kevin Young's ambitious cycle of poems about, inspired by, and in homage to Basquiat. In structure and theme it is a double album, a jazz symphony containing riffs about-and extended rhapsodies of-a pantheon of black genius. Here are ballplayers, boxers, jazz greats: a kaleidoscope of lives emerging from the prism of Basquiat's paintings, which themselves refer to many of these figures, tragic icons who provide a unique foil to Basquiat's own bout with fame.
 

About Kevin Young

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Kevin Young is the author of five previous collections of poetry. His book "Jelly Roll "was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and won the Paterson Poetry Prize. His most recent collection, "For the Confederate Dead," won the 2007 Quill Award for poetry. He has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University in Atlanta.
 
Published June 1, 2001 by Zoland Books. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for To Repel Ghosts

Publishers Weekly

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In this thick volume of 117 lean-lined poems, Young reanimates Jean-Michel Basquiat, the much-documented painter, graffiti artist and art world martyr who overdosed in 1988 at age 27. Unlike the sa

Apr 16 2001 | Read Full Review of To Repel Ghosts

Publishers Weekly

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In this thick volume of 117 lean-lined poems, Young reanimates Jean-Michel Basquiat, the much-documented painter, graffiti artist and art world martyr who overdosed in 1988 at age 27.

| Read Full Review of To Repel Ghosts

PopMatters

Much as I want to say that Kevin Young is a Vital Young Poet and that To Repel Ghosts is a Great Book, the book itself has warned me away from it.

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