- 12,99 €
From a 2021 Whiting Award and Guggenheim Fellow recipient, a “rhapsodic, rigorous poetry collection, which pays homage to everyday Black experience in the U.S.” (The New Yorker)
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.
The powerful second book from Bennett (The Sobbing School) intertwines the author's multifaceted professions as poet, performer, and professor through powerful, crisp poems that celebrate the complexity, joy, and heartbreak of the Black experience in America. "I'm pretty good/ at not loving/ anything enough/ to fear its ruin./ The cruel speed/ of our guaranteed/ obsolescence suits/ me," he writes in "Plural." Packed with sounds that echo the rhythms and narrative form of performance poetry, the collection is divided into three sections, each containing a series of Bennett's version of the ode, which is reclaimed as "owed." This idea is echoed in his four poems titled "Reparation." Bubbling under his Whitmanesque breadth and awe at the world around him is the danger of growing up Black in America: "we grew tired trying not to die." In "The Book of Mycah," dense blocks of text flesh out the frenetic pace and energy of the Brooklyn neighborhood where Mycah Dudley, "Son of Flatbush & roti & dollar vans bolting down the avenue after six," was killed by police. With their joy, pain, and fierce descriptions of Black life in America, Bennett's poems are more necessary than ever.