Gary Young

Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award in 2003

When I was five, I knew God had made the world and everything in it. I knew God loved me, and I knew the dead were in heaven with God always. I had a sweater. I draped it on a fence, and when I turned to pick it up a minute later, it was gone. That was the Þrst time I had lost anything I really loved. I walked in circles, too frightened to cry, searching for it until dark. I knew my sweater was not in heaven, but if it could disappear, just vanish without reason, then I could disappear, and God might lose me, no matter how good I was, no matter how much I was loved. The buttons on my sweater were translucent, a shimmering, pale opalescence. It was yellow.

Angela Jackson on Gary Young

Gary Young is faithful to the details of lived life. Meticulous and dreamy at once. Sorrowful, and engaging. His fruit are fruit and something more. His is the poetry of experience and feeling. He brings us his everyday being and his heart that beats in poetry. And he is adventuresome enough to trust the way a poem looks on the page—like love notes to the reader, memos to angels.

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