Interview with Fury Young: On the Real
Interview with Fury Young: On the Real
NY Poet Fury Young speaks on growing up in the multicultural Lower East Side, getting into activism and shares passages from his book Meat and Milk, available from Lit Riot Press.
Fury Young (b. 1989) is a multi-disciplinary artist from Manhattan's Lower East Side. Growing up without a TV, Fury developed an early obsession for movie-going and set his sights on becoming a film director by age seven. In 2011, after directing several shorts and working as a set carpenter in New York, Young moved to Los Angeles CA. Though the move was a means to expand his horizons as a filmmaker, Fury saw his life and career take a sudden shift, as he became involved in Occupy Wall Street's LA chapter. During this time out west, Young became heavily involved in activism, studying history, learning guitar, and writing poetry.
Young's main current project is Die Jim Crow, a multimedia concept album about the black American experience in the era of mass incarceration. The album, which will be released in 2020 with a film and art book component, is written and performed by formerly and currently incarcerated musicians from across the country. Young is the producer and founder of the project, which he began in 2013. Meat and Milk is his debut collection of poetry. Shot and Reported by Roberto E. Alejandro. Edited by Jack M. Angelo for Stay Up News.
About Meat & Milk
Meat & Milk is the debut poetry book of Fury Young, a born and bred Lower East Side NYC poet. The poems, along with the original notebook pages they written on jump off each page of this collection with urgency and lust. Fury writes of his world face value style, with surprise surrealist and abstract turns. Subway cars, depression incarcerated lifers, city lovers, sex, rock n’ roll all the time, crackheads, demons, and food is what you’ll find in here. Walk inside the mind of a young poet coming of age in a jaded city, an “incarcerated rabbi with so many questions,” a “porn star without a face,” an “amateur philosopher.” Meat & Milk is a poetry book very much of this age. Whether you are living in a concrete city or doing life in a concrete tomb, you will find truth in Fury’s words in Meat & Milk.
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“Fury Young embodies the righteous anger and energy of the Lower East Side, Bushwick, and other artist’s enclaves. He plunges directly into the pain and grittiness of life, like a brutal Chinatown massage. In a time of fake digital worlds, Fury is a scream for the Real, a ghetto visionary; an authentic downtown voice which channels the rage of the incarcerated, survival on the streets, and raw dog sexuality. Meat & Milk accomplishes the task of occupying your mind, heart and balls!” – Master Lee, legendary NYC street performer, author of How To Be An Artist and Not Lose Your Mind
“The Talmud tells us to keep meat and milk separate but Fury Young’s poems refuse separation. He says he was an angry young man and gives us the evidence. Still, though there’s plenty in the world and in these poems to strike righteous anger, Fury’s open eyes and open heart allow all that he sees — streets, subway seats, sad faces, singers and songs — to simmer and shape into life-filled lines of image and sound. Meat & Milk gives — not only pages of neatly typed poems — but, also, the source of these poems: the scratches in notebooks, the quotes that spark, drawings and poem’s lines. This wonderful book shows ‘Misanthrope become poet,’ as Fury says.” – Judith Tannenbaum, author of Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin
“Poets don’t usually write poetry. They become poetry. They inhale and exhale metaphors and alliterations like trees give us air. Fury Young is such a poet. His poems are the blueprint of his mind and his soul. His heart provides the passion. For poetry lovers especially this collection of work is an exciting odyssey through this time and space.” – Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets, author of Branches of the Tree of Life: The Collected Poems of Abiodun Oyewole 1969-2013
“Fury Young is a bardic L.E.S. rubble-rouser with a cause, letting his truth flow out with grit and humor and a downtown devotion to seeing and seeking. I remember when I was just a kid with no rhythm Fury put his big old headphones on my head and said now go walk around — this city feels so good with a soundtrack! His poems are city soundtracks. Mood pieces, dumpster portraits, milky outpourings of fine and furry feeling. Hungry poems clawing towards soul sustenance. Fury is the funky flâneur we didn’t know we needed. Impassioned impulsive street wanderer telling it like it is and like it wants to be. These are hopeful and honest songs for our strange sad century: ‘And do the heart’s fire / And the brain’s hard work / And sometimes be a jerk.’ Indeed!” – Alexandra Tatarsky, mime/poet
“Eloquent and real. A raw, precise, and nuanced portrait of New York City life.” – Amazon
“Meat & Milk, the debut poetry collection of Fury Young, is an inspiring chronicle that requires readers to wear the skin of the poet and experience the world the way he sees it. Young is a scribe recording and remixing a full spectrum of experiences of what it means to be alive in this moment, using language both as a weapon and as a shield. With dazzling candor, Young digs into the marrow of his inner being that ultimately instigates a call to action through music and the arts. Meat & Milk is full of the stuff of the everyday that is woven into a bigger, more ambitious picture. The result is a brew that is gripping, moving, sarcastic, innovative, sometimes hilarious, and often uncomfortable, that will resonate within you as it did in me.” – Gabrielle David, publisher of 2Leaf Press
“Young’s chosen name is truly his own. His chosen way of life follows suit. Knowing the author well, I see much of what I know about him surface in these writings, but also am surprised how real and raw he details his escapades. He paints a dirty NYC with his words and lends real honesty to the characters he interacts with and describes. The pages from his journal give a real energy to the book and add a dimentionality to the poems. Some are thin, but most show a depth of perspective in life that not many choose to interact with, or even see.” – Amazon
“I was moved by the sensitivity of the work, which somehow maintains a staunch roughness to it — the city landscape is compared to the prison landscape (the author has a great side project called Die Jim Crow, see diejimcrow.com), to surreal nature landscapes with women eating unicorn meat on the moon. Go ahead and pick up this book — you will not be disappointed.” – Amazon