a. steven young is a native son of California who lives and works in San Diego as a writer (creative and otherwise). He is a voracious consumer of knowledge—especially history, medicine and theology—and believes that beer for beer’s sake is a noble pursuit. He completed both his MA and MFA at Chapman University and his undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California. SDG.
young’s “Epitaph,” “Tyrants & Kings,” “Underwater,” and “Speaking Of” are found poems based on George Washington’s revolutionary war correspondence and are part of a larger, unpublished (except in creative thesis form) collection called We Shall Spread Good. They appear in chronological order in the collection.
Read a. steven young’s poems here:
Regarding his work, young notes, “I wanted to create a poetry collection that took language created in the very first moments of the United States’ inception and translate it into poems with a contemporary perspective all while respecting the original texts. I originally got the idea for We Shall Spread Good from Jen Bervin’s Nets (a collection of found poems using Shakespeare’s sonnets as primary texts) and reading that really gave me confidence that this could work. I also wanted to give the readers the ability to see the original language alongside what I created out of it so that the history and the art appeared side by side.
I also wanted to explore language at the word level. I was given a world of language to work in where my grammar and word choice were predetermined by Washington’s choices 200+ years ago; I had to operate under these rules while at the same time creating new conversations out of them that were unique unto themselves. The way I went about was going word by word and looking at how I could take much larger linguistic constructs (sentences, paragraphs, letters) and break them down into their base units (words) to create new, large(-r) scale linguistic pieces–each poem.”