Alora Young ’25, the 2020-21 Youth Poet Laureate of the Southern United States and native of Nashville, recently published her debut poetry collection, entitled Walking Gentry Home. The work serves as an archive of her family's history and recounts the stories of nine generations of women, including her grandmother, Gentry, over the span of 270 years.
"I started the book this way because I feel like this is a story that doesn't have a starting place," Young told NPR's Morning Edition. "For thousands of generations, Black women have existed on this planet and all of the culmination of thousands of women led to me being here."
Young's collection was also reviewed in the New York Times by Ashley C. ford, who wrote, "as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, Young has the time to hone her craft, and her direction. Written in a distinct and ambitious voice, this slightly scattered debut is nonetheless proof of her budding capabilities, and hopefully of her commitment to sharing more true stories from the American South.
Additionally, Young was also interviewed by The Tennessean on the 300th episode of its "Tennessee Voices" podcast.