The Sobbing School (Paperback)

By Joshua Bennett, Eugene Gloria (Selected by)

Penguin Books, 9780143111863, 96pp.

Publication Date: September 27, 2016



A -sharp- and -scintillating- (Publishers Weekly) debut collection of poetry, selected by Eugene Gloria as a winner of the National Poetry Series

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.

About the Author

Joshua Bennett received his PhD in English from Princeton University. He is currently a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard Univeristy, 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 Journal, Callaloo, 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.