California’s poet laureate emeritus Al Young to read at annual Morton Marcus event

Al Young
Al Young
UC Santa Cruz poster of sixth annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading
Award-winning American poet, novelist, essayist, and former UC Santa Cruz lecturer Al Young will be the featured guest at the sixth annual Morton Marcus Memorial Poetry Reading, Thursday, November 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall at Cowell College.

The event is held each year to honor poet, teacher, film critic, and Santa Cruz cultural icon Morton Marcus (1936-2009).

It was created to continue Marcus’s tradition of bringing acclaimed poets to Santa Cruz County, to acknowledge the significant role poetry has played in the community's history, and to help preserve poetry's influence in the county's culture.

UC Santa Cruz humanities lecturer and alumnus Gary Young--Santa Cruz's first ever poet laureate--will emcee the program and present a  $1,000 prize to the winner of the annual Morton Marcus Poetry Contest.

Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Young was named poet laureate of California in 2005.

His 22 books include: poetryHeaven, The Sound of Dreams Remembered; fictionWho Is Angelina?, Seduction by Light; essaysJazz Idiom: The Jazz Photography of Charles L. Robinson; anthologiesAfrican American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology, The Literature of California (with Jack Hicks, James D. Houston, and Maxine Hong Kingston); and musical memoirsBodies & Soul, Kinds of Blue.

Young’s honors include NEA, Fulbright, and Guggenheim Fellowships; the PEN/Library of Congress Award for Short Fiction; the PEN/USA Award for Nonfiction; two Pushcart Prizes; two American Book Awards; the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence; and the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Award.

His work has appeared in literary journals and magazines including Paris Review, Ploughshares, Essence, The New York Times, Chicago Review, Seattle Review, and Rolling Stone.

The reading will be followed by a book signing with Young.

This is a community event, co-sponsored by Ow Family Properties; Poetry Santa Cruz (through a grant from the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County); the UC Santa Cruz Creative Writing Program, and Special Collections and Archives; The Cabrillo College English Department; and Santa Cruz Writes.

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