Yusef Komunyakaa is our featured Thomas Lux Memorial Poet for the 18th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival. On Tuesday, January 11th, Komunyakaa will sit for a conversation with poet and consummate interviewer, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, who inspires the most original and interesting stories from our special guests. On the evening of Wednesday, January 12th, he will deliver the Thomas Lux Memorial Reading. From Neon Vernacular, his 1994 Pulitzer Prizing winning collection, to his new collection, Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth, New and Selected Poems, 2001-2021, Yusef Komunyakaa’s voice remains a vital presence in the world of poetry.
Located at Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, Komunyakaa’s famous poem, “Facing It”, allows the reader to reflect not only on the poet’s reckoning with the controversial war, but also to capture the artistic vision of the memorial—that it creates moments of reflection unique to each visitor. In his recent interview with NPR’s Scott Simon, he says, “poetry sort of took hold of me and demanded all of my attention and spirit.” When asked to explain how that feels, he continues,“It feels like one has been chosen as a caretaker of observation. There’s a certain reality, but also there’s a certain kind of dreaming, and that place takes us someplace that we never dreamt of.”
Stay tuned for more information on this great poet and how he will take us somewhere we never dreamt of.