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Atlanta according to Kevin Young

The celebrated Atlanta poet shares a few of his favorite things about Atlanta

Kevin Young
Photo credit: Melanie Dunea/CPi
Kevin Young

In case you don’t know, Kevin Young is kind of a big deal. The celebrated Atlantan is the author of 11 books of poetry and prose, including Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 and Book of Hours. Young was the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry and a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness won the PEN Open Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book. Currently, Young is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and English at Emory University and Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. After living in Atlanta for the past 11 years, Young shares some of his favorite spots in the city.

I decided to make Atlanta home because of the people, the weather, the place, and its history.

My study at home is my favorite spot in the city to think deep thoughts by myself.

The best advice you could give Atlanta visitor is eat, drink, and stay in Decatur.

The view from where I work, the newly renovated Rose Library at Emory is my favorite view in Atlanta. You can see all of campus and Atlanta from there; and on a clear day, Kennesaw Mountain.

Downtown Decatur is my favorite neighborhood.

The first three words that come to mind when I think of Atlanta are food, drink, traffic.

Atlanta’s motto should be “Where History Has a Bright Future!” That’s not bad; I think I’ll copyright that one.

Kimball House, Leon’s, or Ticonderoga Club are my favorite places for a cocktail in Atlanta. Though sometimes you just want a Jack-n-Coke slushie from Victory Sandwich Bar.

The Decatur Book Festival is my favorite annual Atlanta event. I’m biased cause I help with the Danowski Poetry Library poetry track, but I’ve been to many a book festival over the world and it’s still the best.

Cakes & Ale is my favorite neighborhood bar/restaurant.

My house is where I take visiting foodie(s) for dinner.

Kimball House is my favorite place to go for a chill, weeknight dinner.

Something I know about Atlanta that nobody else knows is the back way to my house from work. It saves about half hour.

The High Museum or Little Shop of Stories is the best place to take the kids

The reckless driving is my biggest pet peeve about Atlanta! I never thought I’d see someone take a left from the right lane, or signal right and turn left — and I lived in Boston! But so be it.