TimeTue, November 01, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
In The Study of Human Life, poet, performer, and scholar Joshua Bennett, Ph.D. takes another step forward in his career, extending his range into the realm of speculative fiction for the first time to address issues including abolition, Black ecological consciousness, and the boundless promise of parenthood. This powerful, urgent, and formally innovative new work is divided into three sequences, which Dr. Bennett sees as a meditation on the cycle of human life, taking readers through the phases of death, reincarnation, and new life.
The first sequence, “Trash,” is a set of somber autobiographical poems that deal with themes of family life, the natural world, and the joys and dreams of youth. The second section, “The Book of Mycah,” is a mythic alternate history where Malcolm X is resurrected from the dead in 1965. Warner Bros. will produce “The Book of Mycah” as a scripted television series, with Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions adapting the work, Waithe serving as executive producer, and Dr. Bennett writing the pilot. The third section, “Dad Poem,” focuses on fatherhood and Dr. Bennett’s experience raising his son, who was born in 2020.
Dr. Bennett, the author of three previous works, received his Ph.D. in English from Princeton University and is currently Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He was the recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award in poetry and nonfiction in 2021.
Dr. Bennett will be in conversation with Jesse McCarthy, Ph.D., assistant professor in the departments of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Dr. McCarthy is an editor at The Point, and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, The New Republic, n+1, and Dissent. He is a recipient of a 2022 Whiting Award in nonfiction for his essay collection Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul? Dr. Bennett and Dr. McCarthy are launching a new Penguin Classics series in 2023 called Minor Notes that seeks to recover and rediscover the work of minor African American poets from the 19th and 20th centuries.
This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on our website and YouTube channel.
This event is presented by Family Action Network (FAN). Gorton Center is proud to partner with FAN as a sponsor of this event to bring this programming to our patrons.