On Sunday, April 7, the Katonah Poetry Series (KPS) welcomes Major Jackson, author of four acclaimed poetry collections. In his fourth collection of poetry, Roll Deep (W.W. Norton, 2015), Major Jackson rolls deep through his poetic vision, bringing a jazz and hip hop vibe to his own personal odyssey. His travels take readers from urban America to Kenya, Madrid, Greece and beyond, yet always with an awareness that nowhere is the black body safe. Thus the need arises to “roll deep,” meaning to be surrounded by your people for safety. Who peoples the posse that has Jackson’s back? Is it the musical artists who inform his beat, the diverse canon of influential poets before him or his ancestors? Surely all of these. According to the New York Times, “…no matter how far the speaker journeys — for success, for beauty, for his art, for his woman — he carries home in his blood.”
Jackson has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His debut collection Leaving Saturn (2002) won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and included in multiple volumes of Best American Poetry. Major Jackson is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold University Distinguished Professor at UVM and serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.
The reading begins at 4:00 p.m., followed by an audience Q&A, reception and book signing. Copies of Jackson’s books will be available for sale. For further information and an exclusive KPS interview with Major Jackson, conducted by poet Ann van Buren, please visit www.katonahpoetry.com.