Now in paperback, from the award-winning author of Jelly Roll and Book of Hours, a rich and lively gathering of highlights from the first twenty years of an extraordinary career, interspersed with B sides and bonus tracks from this prolific and widely acclaimed poet. Blue Laws
gathers poems written over the past two decades, drawing from all nine of Kevin Young's previously published books of poetry and including a number of uncollected, often unpublished, poems. From his stunning lyric debut (Most Way Home,
1995) and the amazing double album life of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2001;remixed for Knopf in 2005), through his brokenhearted Jelly Roll: A Blues
(2003) and his recent forays into adult grief and the joys of birth in Dear Darkness
(2008) and Book of Hours
(2014), this collection provides a grand tour of a poet whose personal poems and political poems are equally riveting. Together with wonderful outtakes and previously unseen blues, the profoundly felt poems here of family, Southern food, and loss are of a piece with the depth of personal sensibility and humanity found in his Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels
or bold sequences such as The Ballad of Jim Crow and a new Homage to Phillis Wheatley.