Thursday, October 8, 2020

Poet Promotion

 Hello Friday,

Yesterday or last week or last decade (who can tell?) I was driving and listening to the most interesting news on NPR. A poet, Kevin Young, was tapped as the new Chair of the African American Museum in DC. 

Wow! What a neat cross-pollination of expertise and talent, I thought. At home, I hunted down an article that could help me learn more...which of course, led to a found nonet. Friday is October 9th. Let's celebrate nine a bit.

Make sure you visit Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones for this week's round-up.

McGlone, Peggy. “Smithsonian Taps N.Y. Cultural Director to Lead African American Museum.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 30 Sept. 2020,

Poet Promotion

Telling an American story
we chronicle this moment of
division -- a manuscript
of a lost neighborhood
speak savvy as strength
a poetry
can change

Words found by Linda Mitchell in from Washington Post cited above 10/9/20

Kevin Young is an incredible poet. I found his work at The Poetry Foundation and additional commentary at The Academy of American Poets

Ode to the Hotel Near the Children’s Hospital

Praise the restless beds
Praise the beds that do not adjust
     that won't lift the head to feed
     or lower for shots
     or blood
     or raise to watch the tinny TV
Praise the hotel TV that won't quit
      its murmur & holler
Praise the room service
      that doesn't exist
      just the slow delivery to the front desk
      of cooling pizzas
      & brown bags leaky
      greasy & clear
Praise the...(read the rest here)
Kevin Young,


  1. Thank you for the introduction to Kevin Young and for sharing your found nonet, Linda. A "cross-pollination of expertise and talent" indeed! :)

  2. Yes, very cool cross pollination! Thanks for your poem and Kevin's. I first heard of him when he edited an anthology of food poetry. :)

  3. Linda, what a great tribute and celebratory introduction to Young. I read the rest of his ode and am so struck by his imagery, the power of his craft. It's a searing poem. Your own skill with the nonet is astounding! (here's to 9!). Flows seamlessly. Poetry and poetry museums CAN change lives. Thank you so much for this, Linda.

  4. What wonderful poems - yours and his.

  5. Thanks for highlighting Kevin Young’s appointment! I was so happy to hear this news, also. It was my honor to meet with Kevin and hear his critique of my poems at the Vermont Studio Center in 2008. I own Dear Darkness, which contains the ode you share-so powerful! Another of my favorite odes in that collection is one about Aunties. Love your nonet and the last lines! Thank you for your post.

  6. Linda, I especially love the last four lines of your poem. Such truth there. Also thank you for introducing us to Kevin Young. I'm going to look for more of his poems.

  7. A neat cross-pollination indeed. I do not know Kevin's work but am glad to 'meet' him. Your nonet is a wonderful tribute.

  8. Celebrating nine with a nonet that speaks of a museum that I need to visit when I move. Maybe you will join me! Thanks for introducing me to this new poet for me and his poem.

  9. "Speak savvy as strength" shows us why he's been chosen, perhaps? Thanks for the introduction, Linda. Your poem is a celebration. You should send this to Kevin Young, telling of your listening and your search then inspiration. His poem shows, to me, all those things small & big that we take for granted every day. I was alone one time, in a hospital waiting while my son was having emergency surgery (bad broken arm), husband home with baby sister. I had no change for even a soda. "Praise the change" took me right there years and years ago. Thank you!

  10. I love how you think Linda! Cross-pollination, indeed. Like so many others noted,the line "speak savvy as strength" jumps out at me. Kevin Young is new to me and I'm so glad you shared this news and his work today. His poem is so powerful. Each image/line builds on others yet also holds rich depths standing alone. "Praise the silent phone." Thanks!

  11. I hadn't known of Kevin Young or his work. Thank you for the introduction and for your lovely tribute, as well.

  12. Amazing that a poet was hired to lead this institution! Great choice. This poem makes me think of my mother in law, who spent months at Johns Hopkins Hospital as a child -- her mother stayed in a nearby boarding house. Long ago, but they would have connected with this poem.

  13. Linda, what a wonderful observer you are! Thanks for sharing your observations with us. I saved Young's poignant poem years ago and still remember it.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!