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Yusef Komunyakaa  

Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet & Professor at NYU

Yusef Komunyakaa is an award-winning poet and professor known for his autobiographical poems about race, the Vietnam War, jazz and the blues. His numerous books of poems include "Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999;" "Talking Dirty to the Gods;" "Thieves of Paradise," which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; "Neon Vernacular: New & Selected Poems 1977-1989," for which he received the Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; "Magic City;" "Dien Cai Dau," which won The Dark Room Poetry Prize; "I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head," winner of the San Francisco Poetry Center Award; and "Copacetic."

Komunyakaa's prose is collected in "Blues Notes: Essays, Interviews & Commentaries." Komunyakaa also co-edited "The Jazz Poetry Anthology" (with J. A. Sascha Feinstein) and co-translated "The Insomnia of Fire" by Nguyen Quang Thieu (with Martha Collins).

His 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 Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, where he served as a correspondent and managing editor of the Southern Cross. In 1999 he was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.

Komunyakaa is Professor and Distinguished Senior Poet at New York University and served as a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005.

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