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Truth be Told: How to spot Bunk and stay sane in the Age of Euphemism

Date: Mon. March 30th, 2020, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm
Location: Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom A, 10038 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106

THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS AND COVID-19. 

This event is part of the 2020 Cleveland Humanities Festival: TRUTH.

In this time of “fake news” and “bad blood,” how might we still believe? In this talk, award-winning poet and critic Kevin Young tours us through a rogue’s gallery of hoaxers, plagiarists, forgers, and fakers, from P.T. Barnum to the present. Young traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon, examining what motivates hucksters and makes the rest of us so gullible. Finding that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion—race being the most insidious American hoax of—Young ultimately reveals the dangers of disbelief and the enduring power of art.

 

 


About the Speaker:

Kevin Young is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, recently named a National Historic Landmark, and poetry editor of The New Yorker, where he hosts the poetry podcast. 

He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Brown (Knopf, 2018), as featured on the Daily Show with Trevor NoahBlue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 (Knopf, 2016), longlisted for the National Book Award; and Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets. His collection Jelly Roll: a blues (Knopf, 2003) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Young’s second nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News (Graywolf Press, 2017), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was named a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice” selection, and a “Best Book of 2017″ by NPR, the Los Angeles TimesDallas Morning NewsAtlanta Journal-ConstitutionSmithsonianVogue, the AtlanticNylonBuzzFeed, and Electric Literature. Young’s previous nonfiction book, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (Graywolf Press, 2012), won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the PEN Open Book Award; it was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2012 and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

Young is the editor of nine other collections, including The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965- 2010 (BOA Editions, 2012) and The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink (Bloomsbury, 2012). His anthology African American Poetry 1770–2020: 250 Years of Struggle & Song is forthcoming from Library of America in fall 2020.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2020.

Click HERE for Kevin Young’s official website.

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