The Southern Review joins the literary community in mourning the loss of Jake Adam York, who died suddenly on December 16, 2012, at the age of forty. A much-loved contributor to our pages and a leading light in poetry, Jake wrote about topics including the civil rights movement and racial violence in the South in searingly beautiful poems that were wise and unsparing. Beyond being an exceptional poet, Jake was a kind, good-humored, and generous person. He will be greatly missed.
As Jake wrote in his poem “Shore,” which appeared in our Autumn 2009 issue:
. . . Everything’s reaching up
Like that one great hand
in the middle of the rubbled lots,
like the fingers of the sago
in a ditch on the edge of town,
the way it always does,
trying to hold something
that might rise and be gone.
The Kenyon Review has shared recordings of Jake reading his poems here: http://www.kenyonreview.org/2012/12/in-remembrance-of-jake-adam-york
The Rumpus has created a memorial here: http://therumpus.net/2012/12/poetry-wire-remembering-jake-adam-york-1972-2012