Yusef Komunyakaa

(April 29, 1947 / 1947)

Yusef Komunyakaa
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Yusef Komunyakaa (born April 29, 1941) is an American poet who teaches at New York University and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Komunyakaa is a recipient of the 1994 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, for Neon Vernacular and the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Komunyakaa received the 2007 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the poetry world.

His subject matter ranges from the black general experience through rural Southern life before the Civil Rights era and his experience as a soldier during the Vietnam War.

Komunyakaa was probably born in 1941 (formerly cited as 1947) and given the name ... more »

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Comments about Yusef Komunyakaa

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  • Grandpoet Taiwo (8/28/2012 11:38:00 AM)

    I heard Chris Abani recite ODE TO DRUM, it was just the transformation i needed as a writer.

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Best Poem of Yusef Komunyakaa

Facing It

My black face fades,
hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't,
dammit: No tears.
I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way--the stone lets me go.
I turn that way--I'm inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names,
half-expecting to find
my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson;
I see the booby trap's white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman's ...

Read the full of Facing It

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