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The Sobbing School
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2016
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Available from OverDrive
Description
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/27/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101993101
ASIN:
B01CFB77BG
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Bennett. (2016). The Sobbing School. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joshua Bennett. 2016. The Sobbing School. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joshua Bennett, The Sobbing School. Penguin Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Bennett. The Sobbing School. Penguin Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:10:41
Date Updated:
Mar 16, 2020 17:12:13
Last Metadata Check:
Apr 04, 2021 10:46:48
Last Metadata Change:
Jan 16, 2021 04:57:58
Last Availability Check:
Apr 04, 2021 10:46:51
Last Availability Change:
Nov 04, 2020 05:00:54
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Apr 10, 2021 10:57:02

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title
The Sobbing School
fullDescription
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.
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      • source: Publisher's Weekly
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        Starred review from November 7, 2016
        In his scintillating debut, Bennett, a performance poet and 2015 National Poetry Series winner, raises a crucial question about the writing of African-American experience: how can one convey the enormity of black suffering without reducing black life and expression to elegy? Bennett writes, “when I consider extinction,/ I do not think of sad men with guns,” but instead “of our refusal.” Bennett’s poems resist conventional narratives and lyric expectations, riffing on personal and cultural history instead of directly telling a story. “I know/ the respectable man enjoys a dark/ body best when it comes with a good/ cry thrown in,” Bennett writes in the book’s opener, a skillful meditation on the performance and consumption of pain. Another poem, “Yoke,” uses the poet’s family tree to connect Jim Crow–era farming to mass incarceration. Others render his background from surprising angles or in ingenious forms. Two pieces are presented as academic paper abstracts, another adopts the perspective of a cockroach, and “In Defense of Passing” explores the persistent ironies of coloration through science fiction. At its heart, Bennett’s sharp collection is an ode to family, friendship, and culture that neither pulls punches nor withholds sentiment: “despair kills: too slow to cut/ the music from a horn, or set/ my nephew’s laughter to dim.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from October 15, 2016

        Though he does well by debuting with a National Poetry Series winner, Bennett is already well known from the video of his performance for the Obamas at the White House Poetry Jam, which has claimed almost 400,000 views on YouTube. His opening poem, addressed to an escaped slave Henry Box Brown, has Brown performing in "sold out/ shows an ocean away from the place/ that made you possible." Throughout, Bennett clarifies what made him possible, moving from strict Baptist parents who "praise a vengeful god," to school bullies and best friends, to considerations of blackness couched in language both pop culture and high culture. Delivered without showiness, his imagery is indeed arresting; Richard Wright starts a fire "just to see cinder blacken/ his father's hands like the insides of a loganberry pie." VERDICT Highly recommended.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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shortDescription
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