UCSC humanities lecturer and alumnus Gary Young has received the 2014 George Bogin Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America (PSA).
The award is given for a selection of poems that “use language in an original way to reflect the encounter of the ordinary and the extraordinary and to take a stand against oppression in any of its forms.”
Awards from the PSA—the nation’s oldest poetry organization—are among the most prestigious honors available to poets, offering both emerging and established poets recognition.
Last year, Young was the recipient of the PSA’s Lucille Medwick Memorial Award for best original poem on a humanitarian theme. He previously received the Shelley Memorial Award from the PSA in 2009.
Young graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1973 and received his M.F.A. from UC Irvine in 1975. He has taught poetry as a lecturer in creative writing in UCSC’s Literature Department since 2005. Young is also the director of the Cowell Press, where he teaches printing and book arts.
In 2010, he was named the first-ever Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County.
Since 1975, Young has designed, illustrated, and printed limited-edition books and broadsides. His print work is represented in many collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Getty Center for the Arts.
Young's books include Pleasure, Hands, The Dream of A Moral Life (winner of the James D. Phelan Award), Days, Braver Deeds (winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize), and No Other Life (winner of the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award for best book of the year published by a university, literary, or independent press).
GARY YOUNG--Winner of the 2014 George Bogin Memorial Award
We grew up hearing war stories. The man next door came to beside his downed plane, and discovered someone cutting off his finger for his ring. In the backyard, we shot the pistol he'd taken from an Italian officer. My father hunted men in the caves of Okinawa. His friend found the skull of a Japanese soldier there, polished it to a bright sheen, and sent it home to his father. Down the block, a neighbor gave his son a handful of photographs—women playing with their breasts, a man entering a woman from behind, a group of soldiers standing in a circle around someone with a sword. Such extravagant, incomprehensible gifts: the women, the gun, a man kneeling beside his own head, which had fallen a short distance from his body.