A well acclaimed poet and professor who shared his poetry at the Live Oak Reading Series in October died Sunday from a stroke, according to the an article from the Los Angeles Times.
Jake Adam York, associate professor of English and director of creative writing at the University of Colorado Denver, presented his works in October as part of the English department’s Live Oak Reading Series.
Trip Starkey, a junior writing major, attended the reading in October and remembered him as a genuine man.
“You could tell he loved what he did, and his poetry reflected that,” Starkey said. “I was shocked to hear that the same man who was reading his poetry a couple months back had passed away because when he read he seemed so lively.”
While at the university, York read from his two latest books, “A Murmuration of Starlings” and “Persons Unknown.” He also read from his unpublished book, “Abide."
His reading at the university was the first time he read to a Texas audience.
York is the author of three books of poems—Murder Ballads, A Murmuration of Starlings, and Persons Unknown. He also authored a literary history, The Architecture of Address: The Monument and Public Speech in American Poetry.
He was also the winner of the 2008 Colorado Book Award in Poetry for A Murmuration of Starlings, according to his personal website.
York’s poetry focused on how Americans remember the Civil Rights Movement and many of his readings were influenced by John Earl Reese, a 16-year-old boy who was murdered in East Texas in 1955.
York was also recently selected as a fellow for the 2013 Literature Fellowships in Creative Writing for the National Endowment for the Arts, according to the NEA website.