Introducing Andy Young, Poetry Faculty

Tell us the name of a book or text you’ve marked up and what a reader in 2089 would learn about you from reading your marginalia in that book/text. Kudos to this reader for browsing physical books in 2089!

While I can’t really take for granted what a person in 2089 might be thinking about or what their relationship to books and their marginalia would be, I’ll try to imagine myself as another anyway, another coming across my copy of Yusef Komunyakaa’s Magic City. The text in quotations is a portion of what’s actually written and underlined in my copy of the book. The italicized words are Komunyakaa’s and represent some of the words I responded to.

The future reader might notice an obsession with rhythm, with looking at the relationships between accented and less-stressed syllables, among other things. She would certainly notice, first, the slanted slashes of accents and floating half-moons of breves over the syllables.

She’d see also see one who is in love with language—or, at least, Komunyakaa’s:

“plant names”
winterberry & hollyhock
wild gray tobacco

With an interest in poetry’s music and how it evokes the visceral:

“drama of caesurae leads to climax”

A lover of the mechanics of language:

blackjacked as a verb
“ambiguity of action due to line break”

“similes point to decay/violence”
like a beggar’s rotten tooth
like a whaler’s harpoon

“use of “they said” makes whole story speculation”

Who has an interest in intense human relationship:

“between being the child/egg and the predatory bird/parent”
“ubiquitousness of the Choctaw”

“first person with no “I” “
“where is the speaker?”

And a tendency to respond to poetry with poetry:

“time telescopes down to an instant
hard metallic images against soft dusky field
hiding/covering but not enough”

saw vines
flambeau

Andy Young’s poetry collection All Night It Is Morning was published in 2014 by Diálogos Press. She teaches at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is a writer for Heinemann Publishing. Her work has appeared recently in Voluble, One, storySouth, Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women (Sable Books, 2016) and is forthcoming in Women Rising: Resistance, Revolution, and Reform in the Arab Spring and Beyond (New York University Press).