Skip Navigation

Former Mackey chair returns as Commencement Speaker

March 19, 2014

Kevin YoungAward-winning poet Kevin Young has been selected to address graduates at Beloit College’s 164th Commencement ceremony.

The senior class officers announced the news to their classmates on Tuesday.

“His contemporary style of poetry, depth of thought, manner of speaking, and mastery of language are sure to provide a memorable and thoughtful Commencement ceremony for us all,” they wrote.

Young most recently visited Beloit College in the spring of 2013 when he served as the Lois and Willard Mackey Chair in Creative Writing. As part of that honor, he led a creative writing workshop and gave a public reading of his work.

The Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English at Emory University in Atlanta, Young is the author of eight books of poetry, including the forthcoming Book of Hours. In addition, he wrote Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels, the winner of an American Book Award, and Jelly Roll: A Blues, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize.

Young is the editor of eight other collections, most recently The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing and Best American Poetry 2011. He is also the curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and Literary Collections at Emory University.

Want to know more about Commencement 2014? Visit