Winner of the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize
Set against the sprawling backdrop of Los Angeles, Night Radio excavates the kidnapping and sexual assault of a young girl and the resulting layers of trauma exacted upon her and her family. Working within the paradox of the insufficiency of language and the necessity of expression, these poems elevate overwhelming experiences into near-mythic narrative. Night Radio’s attempt through art to “make sense” of a seemingly senseless world raises troubling and timeless questions about the value, necessity, and futility of the aesthetic act. At the heart of the book is a journey toward reconciliation—wherein one discovers an abiding though hard-won faith within a complex, overwhelming, and, at times, frightening universe.
Finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award.
Kim Young teaches creative writing and composition at Moorpark College and edits Chaparral, an online journal featuring poetry from Southern California. Her poems have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, MiPOesias, Pebble Lake Review, and other journals. She holds an MA from California State University Northridge and an MFA from Bennington College, where she received a Jane Kenyon Scholarship in poetry. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
Praise and Reviews:
“The sounds of Night Radio move between hard-won revelation and pulsing music; they spread across the dry outlands of LA, a world of ‘silt and turkey vultures’ where men in trucks hunt for girls, and where girls kiss their ‘practice-hopes,’ then run like ambulances toward a ‘slick gentleman lighting matches under a streetlight.’ Watchful, vulnerable, quick, and shrewd, the poems shove through a broken world: El Niño’s floods drag raccoons and possums; a boyfriend becomes a place ‘my legs get to wrap’; a cop, a father, cannot protect his daughter from abduction. All this, joined in radiant waves to the ‘little signal towers’ of the body. A brave and accomplished first book.”—David Gewanter, Georgetown University
—Pebble Lake Review