Joshua Bennett

reads from

The Sobbing School

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
22
Wednesday
February 22, 2017
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes poet JOSHUA BENNETT for a reading from The Sobbing School—his “sharp” and “scintillating” (Publishers Weekly) debut collection of poetry, selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series.

About The Sobbing School

The Sobbing School, Joshua Bennett’s mesmerizing debut collection of poetry, presents songs for the living and the dead that destabilize and de-familiarize representations of black history and contemporary black experience. What animates these poems is a desire to assert life, and interiority, where there is said to be none. Figures as widely divergent as Bobby Brown, Martin Heidegger, and the 19th-century performance artist Henry Box Brown, as well as Bennett’s own family and childhood best friends, appear and are placed in conversation in order to show that there is always a world beyond what we are socialized to see value in, always alternative ways of thinking about relation that explode easy binaries.

Praise

“In his scintillating debut, Bennett raises a crucial question about the writing of African-American experience:  how can one convey the enormity of black suffering without reducing black life and expression to elegy? . . . At its heart, Bennett’s sharp collection is an ode to family, friendship and culture that neither pulls punches nor withholds sentiment." —Publishers Weekly
 
“Bennett is one of the most impressive voices in poetry today . . . he is also quietly building a reputation as one the brightest intellectual and political thinkers of a new generation.” Jesse McCarthy, Dissent Magazine
 
"At a moment in American culture punctuated to a heartbreaking degree by acts of hatred, violence and disregard, I can think of nothing we need to ponder and to sing of more than our shared grief and our capacity not just for empathy but genuine love. Poetry is critical to such an endeavorand Joshua Bennett’s astounding, dolorous, rejoicing voice is indispensable." Tracy K. Smith

"At the heart of Joshua Bennett’s debut collection lies grief, but his poems also pay tribute to the human will to endure. There are glimpses here of James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston where Bennett’s syntactical dexterity and feeling for language meet the rhythm and flow of dangerous music. His poems of identity are also poems of imagery and invention, and they testify to poetry’s endless mutability through story and song, lament and praise. The Sobbing School is an essential book for our times." Eugene Gloria

Joshua Bennett
Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett received his PhD in English from Princeton University. He is currently a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, and has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry JournalCallaloo, the Kenyon Review, and New England Review. Bennett tours nationally and internationally as a performance poet and has recited his original work at the Sundance Film Festival, the NAACP Image Awards, and President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House. He lives in Yonkers, New York.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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FAQ:

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
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