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New Works: Joshua Bennett, Charif Shanahan and Patricia Smith
March 30, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm| Free
Come celebrate the publication of exceptional new work by two Cave Canem fellows and a renowned faculty member. Bennett’s debut collection The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016) is a National Poetry Series selection, about which Tracy K. Smith writes, “[his] astounding, dolorous, rejoicing voice is indispensable.” Yusef Komunyakaa hails Shanahan’s Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (SIU Press, 2017) as “a heroic first collection.” Smith is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection and winner of the first Hurston/Wright Award in Poetry; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, recipient of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her latest collection is Incendiary Art (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Free and open to the public. Refreshments served.
Joshua Bennett, a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, is the author of The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016). He holds a PhD in English from Princeton University, and an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Warwick, where he was a Marshall Scholar. In 2010, he delivered the Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated with the distinctions of Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. Winner of the 2015 National Poetry Series, Bennett has received fellowships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Cave Canem, the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust, and the Ford Foundation. His writing has been published or is forthcoming in Boston Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry and elsewhere. He is currently a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.
Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (SIU Press, 2017), winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including The Baffler, Boston Review, Callaloo, Literary Hub, The New Republic, Poetry International, A Public Space, and Prairie Schooner, which awarded him the 2015 Edward Stanley Poetry Award. He holds degrees in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and Dartmouth College and an MFA from New York University. He has received awards and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, Cave Canem Foundation, the Frost Place, the Fulbright Program/IIE, Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Starworks Foundation. He is a 2016-18 Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.
Patricia Smith is the author of seven books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets and finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award; and Gotta Go Gotta Flow, a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her next collection, Incendiary Art, will be published by Northwestern University Press in February 2017. Smith’s other publications include the poetry books Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, and Life According to Motown; the children’s book Janna and the Kings; and Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House, and Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year, and was featured in the anthology Best American Mystery Stories. She is a Guggenheim fellow, a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, a former fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam. Smith is a professor at the College of Staten Island and the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, as well as an instructor at the annual VONA residency and the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Residency Program.