Our grief is still too fresh for real thinking, but we weep with the entire literary community when we mourn the passing of Jake Adam York earlier this afternoon (12/16/12). In his great spirit, we want to share and give, as he would and did. Jake taught for The Kenyon Review this past summer in our Writers Workshop and Young Writers programs. We recorded each of the readings associated with these programs. The four poems in the Writers Workshop recording, including “Letter to Be Read By Furnace Light,” “Mayflower,” “Cry of the Occasion,” (first published in the Summer ’12 KR) and “Inscription for Air” (the collective title for his body of elegiac poems dedicated to the memory of the American civil rights martyrs) are all also included in a new manuscript that Jake had just begun circulating entitled Abide. We can all hope to see Abide in print one day.
In the spirit of the Young Writers program, the following two poems were created during the two weeks while each program was running during the 2012 summer in Gambier. All the work created during the program is fresh and new. Jake read an early version of “Self-Portrait as Superman (Alternate Take)” during the first session of Young Writers. (This poem was published by the New England Review six days ago; you can find the text here.)
The last poem, read in the second session of Young Writers, is an early draft of an untitled poem: