Bogalusa-born poet honored at NYC festival

Published 3:44 am Saturday, June 22, 2019

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Bogalusa-born native, Yusef Komunyakaa, was recently celebrated at the PEN America World Voices Festival in New York City, N.Y.

Komunyakaa’s work was the subject of four separate discussion panels, held at two different locations in the New York City area. The panels were by writers who are his former students, and included his own reading of his works, and a jazz performance beforehand.

His other honors include the William Faulkner Prize from the Université de Rennes; the Thomas Forcade Award; the Hanes Poetry Prize; fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Louisiana Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Wallace Stevens Award. In 1999, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, where he served for five years. From 2016–2018, he served as the poet laureate of New York state. Komunyakaa is a senior faculty member in the NYU Creative Writing Program.