Yusef Komunyakaa and Valzhyna Mort - 92Y, New York

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Yusef Komunyakaa and Valzhyna Mort

A Reading and Conversation with Laren McClung

Apr 14, 2021

In celebration of National Poetry Month, 92Y presents a free reading by Yusef Komunyakaa and Valzhyna Mort. Yusef Komunyakaa’s new collection is Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth. His masterful, musical verse conjures arresting images of peace and war, the power of the earth and love, his childhood in the American South and service in Vietnam, the ugly violence of racism, and the meaning of power and morality. “Probably my favorite living poet,” writes Ta-Nehisi Coates. “No one else taught me more about how important it was to think about how words make people feel. I started reading him in college and was just stunned by his rhythm and his sense of the surreal. He is not just a great writer. He is one of the best readers in the business.”

Valzhyna Mort’s third collection, Music for the Dead and Resurrected, was named one of 2020’s Best Poetry Books by The New York Times. “Her poems tell a secret history,” writes The Times. “A child in Belarus bears the weight of an accordion and countless repetitive war stories, nightmares of blood and bones and radioactive soil. They have the haunting quality of a nursery rhyme in a minor key, the dark magic of a snow-dusted forest.”

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