avery r. young headshot

avery r. young

Poet, Songwriter, Performer
2012 3Arts Awards
Teaching Arts

The recipient of the Meier and New Leader of Chicago awards in 2022, Chicago’s Inaugural Poet Laureate, interdisciplinary artist avery r. young is also an award-winning teaching artist who has been an Arts and Public Life Artist-In-Residence at the University of Chicago. In the foreword of his most recent book neckbone: visual verses (Northwestern University Press), Theaster Gates called him “one of our greatest living street poets...one of the most important thinkers on the Black experience.” Black Grooves referred to his album tubman (FPE Records) as “brilliant” and “supremely funky.”

Young’s poems and essays have been published in Cecil McDonald's In The Company of Black, The BreakBeat Poets, The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks, AIMPrint, Teaching Black, and other anthologies. His album booker t. soltreyne: a race rekkid engages matters of race, gender, and sexuality in America during the Obama Era.  Young's work in performance, visual text, and sound design has been featured in several exhibitions and theater festivalsnotably The Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and American Jazz Museum.

He is the featured vocalist on flutist Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening (FPE Records) and a co-director of The Floating Museum. His theater credits include co-writing and co-producing the soundtrack for Lise Haller Baggeson’s Hatorgrade Retrograde: The Musical and writing the libretto for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Twilight: Gods. Currently, Young is working on the libretto and compositions for his debut opera titled safronia, and he is working on the score and script for his debut play, maim de looter(s).

film with Studio Revolt

Profile caption: avery r. young by Jansen Bridges Profile image by: avery r. young by Jansen Bridge

Featured Artworks

  •  avery r. young artwork
  •  dark-skinned african american male smiling in a recording studio lil blk erything smile avery r. young at Bel-Air Studio, Chicago, IL courtesy of artist archive

    process documentation of the making of the tubman record

avery r. young has crowd-funded a project with 3AP

  • booker t. soltreyne

    • $3,026 raised of $3,000 goal
    • 0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
      • 3Arts matched
      • 101% funded

    Combining song, poetry, and interviews about race and politics, "booker t. soltreyne" is a new CD and archival project that reflects on how old pedagogies and processes of racism still exist in the Obama Era. 

    Read more about booker t. soltreyne