CHICAGO (WLS) -- For avery r. young, poetry is revelation.
"It's not this thing that's on a mountain that you have to intersect and interpret," young said. "You listen to a poem, and the only thing you have to do is hear it and feel."
For two decades, young has been melding language with music and visual arts, creating a poetry all his own that seeks to build bridges to the truth, and is organically, "Chicago."
"To go into the archives and the neighborhoods of the city and create work about the people and places and things about this great city, that is Chicago," young said.
And, now, the 48-year-old Austin native, who got his start at open mics in the city, is Chicago's first poet laureate.
The program is supported the Chicago Public Library, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Poetry Foundation. As poet laureate, young is part artist and part ambassador.
"That's the hope: we engage more youth. We engage more of our poetry community, and we uplift culture and arts in Chicago," said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown.
Young was chosen by the city following a process that began with nearly 1,300 nominations. He'll serve a two-year term as poet laureate and receive $50,000 for the commissioning of new works.
"We're all gonna do the work that we need to do transform the city," young said.