Kevin Young


The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food & Drink

  • 2012
  • Bloomsbury USA
  • Hardcover, Paperback
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Food and poetry: in so many ways a natural pairing, from prayers over bread to street vendor songs. Poetry is said to feed the soul, each poem a delicious morsel. When read aloud, the best poems provide a particular joy for the mouth. Poems about food make these satisfactions explicit and complete.

Many of the poems are also about the everything else that accompanies food: the memories, the company, even the politics. Kevin Young, distinguished poet, editor of this year's Best American Poetry, uses the lens of food—and his impeccable taste—to bring us some of the best poems, classic and current, period.

Poets include: Elizabeth Alexander, Elizabeth Bishop, Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Gluck, Seamus Heaney, Tony Hoagland, Langston Hughes, Galway Kinnell, Frank O'Hara, Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, Matthew Rohrer, Charles Simic, Tracy K. Smith, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Mark Strand, and Kevin Young.

Reviews & Praise

This anthology is a feast! Verdict: Essential for all poetry collections. Library Journal (starred review)

Though gastronomic wordplay seems too easy to describe the smorgasbord of stylistic samplings in this melodious cornucopia, perhaps the 'horn of plenty' is an appropriate figure for the anthology, as Young brings to the table a refreshingly flavorful selection of poets. Diego Báez, Booklist

Poems That Make You Hungry. The New York Times