Reggie Scott Young's YARDBIRDS SQUAWKING at the MOON

New and Vintage Poems

From the Cold War to the New Millennium, from the Bluesville section of Chicago to the bayous of south Louisiana, Reggie Scott Young takes his readers on a wild ride through half a century of American experience. The hot-button topics of race, class, religion, gender, family, and politics are all fair game to his observant eye and honest pen. Nothing is sacred to this poet, not even Abraham Lincoln or his own preacher-father’s extramarital affairs. In the democratic spirit of Whitman, Sandburg, Brooks, and Hughes, Young sends forth his “barbaric squawk” at the moon, resulting in poems that are direct, alive, necessary. (from download


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Recent Publications

New Essays and Stories in These Books

In October of 2019 I had a scholarly essay appear in Summoning Our Saints: The Poetry and Prose of Brenda Marie Osbey, a pedagogical essay in the pages of the MLA's Approaches to Teaching Ernest J. Gaines The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Other Works, and a short piece of creative nonfiction in Chicago Review's special issue on The Black Arts Movement in Chicago (although the editor listed it as fiction). More recently, my rather crude poem titled "Lady Antebellum" appeared in the Rivard Report, a San Antonio online publication ( Makes me wonder if it was the appearance of that poem that prompted the group to change its name. Who knows?


I grew up in an urban neighborhood in which few people read anything other than the Bible (if they were religious) and the daily newspaper. The worth of boys and young men was measured by such factors as their ability to play football, basketball, dance, sing, or "play the ladies." I wasn't good at any of that and maybe that's what led me to develop into a reader and writer. My exposure to literature in high school was mostly limited to Shakespeare's sonnets and one of his plays, along with poems by Keats, Wordsworth, Milton, and Poe, but none of those writers offered mirror reflections of the world in which I lived and none of them wrote in voices and language that were native to me. When I started writing, like so many others in the days before computers and word processing programs, I wrote on pages in spiral-bound notebooks with pencils and pens--when I became more sophisticated I typed my poems and prose sketches on manual typewriters. One of the pieces of furniture I owned when I lived in my first apartment was an old wooden contraption that the telephone company used to transport  cables. When the spools were no longer good for service they were often left in alleys for garbage trucks to pick up. I took one home and it served as my first desk. On it I wrote countess college papers and homework assignments for the commuter university I attended, and on it I wrote the early poems I published in magazines such as Spoon River Quarterly and Contact II. It was also on that little uncomfortable table that I wrote the novel that served as my dissertation, one titled Crimes in Bluesville, and that novel helped to launch my career in higher education.


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