Yrsa Daley-Ward

reads from and discusses



This event includes a book signing


October 9, 2017
7:00 PM


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


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated poet YRSA DALEY-WARD for a reading and discussion of bone, a poignant collection of autobiographical poems about the heart, life, and the inner self. Daley-Ward will be joined by local poet JOSHUA BENNETT, reading from The Sobbing School

About bone

Bone. Visceral. Close to. Stark.

The poems in Yrsa Daley-Ward’s collection bone are exactly that: reflections on a particular life honed to their essence—so clear and pared-down, they become universal.

From navigating the oft competing worlds of religion and desire, to balancing society’s expectations with the raw experience of being a woman in the world; from detailing the experiences of growing up as a first generation black British woman, to working through situations of dependence and abuse; from finding solace in the echoing caverns of depression and loss, to exploring the vulnerability and redemption in falling in love, each of the raw and immediate poems in Daley-Ward’s bone resonate to the core of what it means to be human. 

“You will come away bruised. 
You will come away bruised
but this will give you poetry.” 

Foreword by Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division


"Yrsa’s work is like holding the truth in your hands. It sweats and breathes before you. A glorious living thing.” —Florence Welch

“Yrsa Daley-Ward’s bone is a symphony of breaking and mending. This whole book is an ache, and a balm. Daley-Ward effortlessly mines the bone, the diamond from the difficult, the things that are too bright and taboo. She lays her hands on the pulse of the thing and gives wide air to the epic realities of women. The unfamiliar. The familiar. Sexuality. Poverty. Sex work. Sadness. Joy. Damage. And restoration. Assigning them all the grace. All the nurturing. And all the love they deserve. An expert storyteller of the rarest and purest kind—Daley-Ward is uncannily attentive and in tune to the things beneath life, beneath the skin, beneath the weather of the everyday. Her poetry and prose are intimate and distant, sonorous and staunch, delicate and metal, unwilling to yield, and wondrously supple. Daley-Ward’s extraordinary talent, ability, to both see and write the veins of the true life, the true lives, is a gift. A breath.” —Nayyirah Waheed, author of salt. and nejma

“Yrsa Daley-Ward is at the realm of a new wave of contemporary poets who inspire an unprecedented level of empathy and accessibility through their honest and raw approach. . . A powerful collection of a woman facing tumultuous inner and external battles head on, delivered with a hard-hitting directness, yet with inflections of optimism throughout that are bound to touch readers to their core.” —i-D Magazine

“The actor, author, model, and poet draws from her own experiences as well as issues affecting today’s society throughout her work and is truly a storyteller (‘some tall, some dark’) of the soul.” —POPSUGAR

Books by Our Speakers

The featured book for this event is Yrsa Daley-Ward's bone, which will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Copies of Joshua Bennett's The Sobbing School will also be available for purchase.

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. He is the author of the poetry collection The Sobbing School, selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series. 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.

Yrsa Daley-Ward
Yrsa Daley-Ward

Yrsa Daley-Ward

Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer and poet of mixed West Indian and West African heritage. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley in the North of England. She splits her time between London and Los Angeles.

Photo credit: Kirill Kozlov

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.

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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.
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