sirjoshbennett sirjoshbennett

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Joshua Bennett  Writer. Assistant Professor of English at Dartmouth. Harvard Society of Fellows. abolition. black study. Author of The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016).

It’s official! I’m excited to announce that my second collection of poems, OWED, will be published by Penguin Books in 2020. I have been hard at work on this book for a long time now, and it feels great to know that it will have such an incredible home. Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of The Sobbing School, watched a video on YouTube, or came out to one of my shows. Your support made this moment—as well as so many other beautiful moments over the past 10 years & counting—possible. This book is for every single one of you. It is a praise song for the world we are building together. And I can’t wait to share it with you all.
#Owed #AnotherOne #SecureTheBag #YonkersStandUp #MamaWeMadeIt #AfterThisImGoingOnVacation

My general mood for the rest of this summer might be best described as thoroughly optimistic black man on a beautiful boat with newfound gray in his beard that he can trace directly to the stress of editing his forthcoming book projects (more on that soon) though he is nonetheless energized by a persistent, underlying joy that, as his mother might say, the world did not give him, and the world cannot take away.
#NewBooks #blackjoy #BoatLife #beardgang #GrownManScarves #HappyJuneteenth

Baby Marley & her biggest fan. Just about every single day, the knowledge that she is here now makes me want to make this world a more open, loving, joyous place.
I’m working on it, little one. Moment by moment. I promise. #tbt

Spent the holiday weekend at a wedding in Philly with some of my favorite people. Congratulations to the bride & groom: Helanah & Greg. It has been one of the great joys of my life to see you grow in love over the past several years. May this next phase of your journey together be as luminous, as full of astonishment and sweetness and surprise, as your very best dreams. Thank you both for sharing this window into your lives with the rest of us. It was a wonder to behold.

Hi, everyone! I am excited to announce that I have accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. I will join the faculty of Arts & Sciences there next year, and also be affiliated with their Department of African and African American Studies.
I have wanted to be a professor since I was 17 years old. Now, as then, I marvel just about every day at the fact that one can make a living, make a life, via the exchange of beautiful ideas. It was the mere possibility of living into some version of that dream which inspired me to become a poet many years ago. And it is this very same dream, this wondrous and terrifying hope, that continues to animate my work as an educator both inside and outside of the classroom. Thank you to everyone who held me close and kept me alive along the way. Those who loved me enough to tell me the truth and help me grow. Your love made all the difference. We made it through. And now, we celebrate!

#BlackJoy #NewJob #SecureTheBag #YonkersStandUp #MamaWeMadeIt #DipSetForever

It’s always a great time when I get to catch up with these guys. They are two of my favorite people on Earth, and pretty much every time I see Miles as of late, it is a welcome reminder to step my suit/hair/general comportment game all the way up.
Happy Easter, everyone. I hope wherever you are that yours might be filled with joy, abiding love, and everything else that makes this grand, unpredictable life of ours worth cherishing.
#HappyEaster #FamilyTime #beardgang #blackmensmiling #blackboystoo #BestLife

Shout-out to my dear friend, colleague, & mentor @marclamonthill for inviting me to read at Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books last night. It’s difficult to describe how much it meant for me to witness Marc’s vision for the space come to fruition this way: a black-owned bookstore filled to the brim with works that celebrate the particular brilliance of this people, this tradition, that we love. Being there, even if only for a few hours, renewed my sense of what is possible, and how capaciously we can dare to dream. It reminded me that the present is a time for building. And gathering. And imagining a world far more beautiful than any we have ever seen.

Sincerest thanks to the kind folks over at the Pingree School for inviting me to serve as their 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speaker. It was an honor to share the space. A number of my conversations yesterday reminded me of a line from June Jordan’s timeless essay on King: “We are not gods. But we are many.” To be sure, these are turbulent, terrifying times. But I am convinced, more so each day, that our present moment is also one in which we can find new, ever more innovative ways to imagine freedom, and to enact the worlds we dream. Whenever I have the chance to talk to a group of young people, as I did yesterday, it reminds me of how high the stakes are, how pressing the need for a vision of a more beautiful world, one with space for all of us to flourish. It is one of the great joys of my life that I get to do that sort of dreamwork with you all. Thanks for making room, and for listening to me try to make music from the pictures in my head. It means more than you can know.
#thesobbingschool #booktour #YonkersStandUp #SweaterGameStrong #ShoutOutToUniqlo

Finally settling into my standard look for the new year, which I like to think of as some combination of fresh-faced high school History teacher, folk singer, and reliable neighborhood carpenter that just moved in from the Midwest & repairs everyone’s cabinets & dining room tables for the low

Photo credit: @mvrandsh8kr

Went out for drinks with my big sister to celebrate the holidays last night, & to my great delight ended up staging an impromptu “Wintertime in the Wilderness” themed photo shoot. I am still somewhat unclear on the reasoning behind this choice—apart from the fact that we both believe deeply in the notion that you never pass up on good lighting if it’s available—but am overjoyed with the results nonetheless. All of which is to say: happy holidays, everyone. I hope wherever you are there is wonder, & good memories, & someone you love that can make you smile for no reason at all.
#HappyHolidays #YonkersStandUp #SiblingLove #YuleTideLooks

Photo credit: @mvrandsh8kr

Whenever I work with Rog, I always end up with at least one photo that makes me think of some alternate, altogether wonderful, relatively feasible version of my life. Here, I am the pastor of a small, storefront church—The Redemption Center, let's call it—ride a motorcycle, & also have a large, gray dog named Ajax the Great, who I call by that exact name whenever I enter the house. Oh, & I also coach the neighborhood's middle school chess team, mostly because I think that the game is beautiful, & that we all deserve a measure of beauty while we are here on the planet together, working things out, unabashedly alive.
Photo credit: Rog Walker

Self-portrait when you're dressed to go out & party with your friends, but also kind of tired because your sleep schedule isn't great right now, so you have to sit there for a moment & weigh the ethical cost of staying in, pulling up an episode of Stranger Things, & casually dropping that "idk man it's kinda cold outside" text into the group chat without any further context or the slightest hint of shame
#tbt #LiveYourBestLife #BeardGang #NetflixAndNaps

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