In Memory of Jake Adam York

Tyler Meier
December 16, 2012
Comments 5


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.

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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.)

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The last poem, read in the second session of Young Writers, is an early draft of an untitled poem:

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5 thoughts on “In Memory of Jake Adam York

  1. Jake Adam York’s collection ABIDE is forthcoming in the Spring 2014 from Southern Illinois University Press as part of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry.

  2. I met Jake in 2005 at a conference in Denver (thanks to Adam Lerner). We shared a panel and ideas. He shared a Copper Nickle volume. On the back cover was his poem – This is a Map. His playful riff on the purpose and value of maps provided the metaphor for what we do at Animating Democracy (Americans for the Arts)– and helped me write the conclusion for Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy where the poem is featured (with permission). We still share it frequently. I am truly saddened by this news

  3. It’s so hard to believe that Dr. York has passed. He taught me for one semester, earlier this year. He was, by far, one of the most phenomenal people I have ever met. I will never forget the advice he had given me, in both writing and my studies. He still had so much to share; he will most definitely be missed.

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