Maurice Young


Maurice Young is a spoken word poet and graduate of the Exchange for Change program for incarcerated writers in Dade County, Florida. He participates in Between the Lines, a series of collaborative art workshops by correspondence. His contributions will be exhibited in The Power of We, a large-scale public art exhibition, supported by We, Women Photo, that will travel across the U.S. to venues in Anchorage, Atlanta, Chicago, and New Orleans.

He says “When I take on the role as a poet it allows me to walk so many different paths concerning my life and the things I see. Sometimes I can speak about things that are actually reality in my life and it helps me to identify with the pain I’m feeling, which at times I can do nothing about. At other times, I’m trying to create something that I know is physically impossible, but I can perceive it in my mind, then blend it in with reality, because of the crossbreed of things we can do. It can always give you something to strive for. Seeing things not only in your eyes, but often through the person next to me.”

Between the Lines Broadside: America Kissed Me in the Dark

Commissioned by Center for Book Arts 2021 Workspace Artist in Residence Rowan Renée for their Between the Lines project, America Kissed Me in the Dark is an edition of 100 broadsides produced in collaboration between NYC-based artist Alix Pentecost-Farren and queer incarcerated artist Maurice Young.

When designing the broadside, Pentecost-Farren was inspired by the epic scope of Young’s poem that makes reference to the big dipper as a romantic symbol of surviving hardships, while also pointing out how American society has failed to achieve racial equality since the abolition of chattel slavery. When Pentecost Farren and Young corresponded about the broadside design, Young suggested that Pentecost-Farren incorporate an image of an angel hiding their face—as if they were contemplating the sins of America. The pageantry parade of stars in the design is a nod to Young’s mention of the Big Dipper in his poem.

All proceeds from this broadside—and the other five that are part of the series—directly benefit organizations supporting queer incarcerated artists.

Order the broadside–>