Light feeds each breath we take, light circulates
and in its round-and-round produces you
and me and everything that jumps or waits.
or so muses the poet Al Young in a recent poem at his extensive Web site, alyoung.org. Between his Mississippi earliest years and the U-M studies that launched him as poet, Young came of age in Detroit. Those were the years that informed his novel Snakes, years that figure into many of his verses and essays. And every few years Young — whose laurels include Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, a couple National Book Awards and a recent stint as the poet laureate of California — finds himself back in Detroit as he does Wednesday (December 9).
Young will read his poems to the accompaniment of bassist Marion Hayden, as will poet Melba Boyd. Bill Harris will read to the accompaniment of Ron English and Faruq Z. Bey.
The words and music get under way at 7:30 p.m. at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center, 311 Grand River in Paradise Valley (formerly Harmonie Park), between Music Hall and the Detroit Opera House. Parking stubs from the Opera House parking lot can be validated at the event.
(The lines quoted, above, by the way, have an additional Detroit connection. They're from a memorial poem by Young to Andrea Lewis, another former Detroiter transplanted to the West Coast. Lewis passed away last month at age 52. Lewis attended Eastern Michigan University before her outstanding career as a progressive journalist and broadcaster with Pacifica Radio's KPFA. )
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.