His poems, rooted in personal narrative about his Louisiana childhood, his stint in Vietnam, urban living, and the legacies of slavery and racism, are infused with jazz and blues. The recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Komunyakaa currently serves as Distinguished Senior Poet at New York University.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Pleasure Dome, Warhorses, The Chameleon Couch, and most recently The Emperor of Water Clocks (FSG). His awards include the William Faulkner Prize (Université Rennes, France), the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally, and include Wakonda’s Dream, Saturnalia, and Gilgamesh: a Verse Play. He teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University and serves as State Poet of New York.
The Golden Rose Award is one of the oldest in the poetry prizes in the United States dating to 1919. The New England Poetry Club awards the Rose to a poet, who by their poetry and inspiration to and encouragement of other writers, has made a significant mark on American poetry. Winners have included three Nobel Laureates: Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Czeslaw Milosz, and several Pulitzer Prize recipients, all of whom received the Golden Rose before their international acclaim. Other winners include American icons Robert Frost, Katherine Lee Bates, Archibald MacLeish, David McCord, Robert Lowell, Stanley Kunitz, X.J. Kennedy, May Sarton, Adrienne Rich, Robert Penn Warren, John Updike and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Free and open to the public