• Owed

    by Joshua Bennett
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    Owed
  • Invasive Species

    by Marwa Helal
    Price $16.95
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    Invasive Species
  • Exiles of Eden

    by Ladan Ali Osman
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    Exiles of Eden
  • Hull

    by Xandria Phillips
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    Hull
October 7, 2021

Joshua Bennett, Marwa Helal, Ladan Osman, and Xandria Phillips

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcome acclaimed poets JOSHUA BENNETT, MARWA HELAL, LADAN OSMAN, and XANDRIA PHILLIPS—recipients of the 2021 Whiting Award in Poetry—for an evening of readings and discussion featuring their latest poetry collections, OwedInvasive speciesExiles of Eden, and HULL

Details

About Owed

Gregory Pardlo described Joshua Bennett's first collection of poetry, The Sobbing School, as an "arresting debut" that was "abounding in tenderness and rich with character," with a "virtuosic kind of code switching." Bennett's new collection, Owed, is a book with celebration at its center. Its primary concern is how we might mend the relationship between ourselves and the people, spaces, and objects we have been taught to think of as insignificant, as fundamentally unworthy of study, reflection, attention, or care. Spanning the spectrum of genre and form—from elegy and ode to origin myth—these poems elaborate an aesthetics of repair. What's more, they ask that we turn to the songs and sites of the historically denigrated so that we might uncover a new way of being in the world together, one wherein we can truthfully reckon with the brutality of the past and thus imagine the possibilities of our shared, unpredictable present, anew.

About Invasive species

In Invasive species, Marwa Helal’s searing politically charged poems touch on our collective humanity and build new pathways for empathy, etching themselves into memory. This work centers on urgent themes in our cultural landscape, creating space for unseen victims of discriminatory foreign (read: immigration) policy: migrants, refugees—the displaced. Helal transfers lived experiences of dislocation and relocation onto the reader by obscuring borders through language.

About Exiles of Eden

Exiles of Eden looks at the origin story of Adam, Eve, and their exile from the Garden of Eden, exploring displacement and alienation from its mythological origins to the present. In this formally experimental collection steeped in Somali narrative tradition, Osman gives voice to the experiences and traumas of displaced people over multiple generations. The characters in these poems encounter exile’s strangeness while processing the profoundly isolating experience of knowing that that once you are sent out of Eden, you can’t go back.

About HULL

In this debut collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips, HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.

About Author(s)

Poet, performer, and scholar Joshua Bennett is the author of two collections of poetry, Owed and The Sobbing School, as well as a book of criticism, Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man. His first work of narrative nonfiction, Spoken Word: A Cultural History, is forthcoming from Knopf. He received his PhD in English from Princeton University, and is currently Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. His writing has been published in the New York Times MagazineThe Paris ReviewPoetry, and elsewhere. In 2021, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award in Poetry and Nonfiction. He lives in Boston.

Ladan Osman, Somali-born poet and essayist, is the author of The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (University of Nebraska Press 2015), winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize, and the chapbook Ordinary Heaven, which appeared in the box set Seven New Generation African Poets (Slapering Hol Press 2014).

Marwa Helal is a poet and journalist. Her work appears in ApogeeHyperallergic, the OffingPoets & Writers, the RecluseWinter Tangerine and elsewhere. She is the author of the chapbook I Am Made To Leave I Am Made To Return and Invasive species. Helal is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Brooklyn Museum. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Xandria Phillips is a poet and visual artist from rural Ohio. They are the author of Hull, winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award, and Reasons For Smoking, which won the 2016 Seattle Review chapbook contest judged by Claudia Rankine. Their poem “For a Burial Free of Sharks” won the 2016 Gigantic Sequins poetry contest judged by Lucas De Lima. Xandria is the poetry editor at Honeysuckle Press, and a teaching artist for Winter Tangerine’s NYC workshops. Their work is featured or forthcoming from Virginia Quarterly ReviewBlack Warrior ReviewCrazyhorseWest Branch, and elsewhere.