Kevin Young is poetry editor for the New Yorker and the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is the author of sixteen books of poetry and prose, including Brown; Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995-2015, which was long-listed for the National Book Award; and Book of Hours, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. His collection Jelly Roll: A Blues was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Young's nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, was long-listed for the National Book Award, and named a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, and a Best Book of 2017 by numerous publications. Young’s previous nonfiction book, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award; it was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2012 and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Society of American Historians. In 2020, he was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.