Manhattan, New York
Dr. Joshua Bennett sits at his desk beneath a sign that reads, “Alive Alive Alive Alive.” A couple hundred books on everything from slavery to gun violence to hip-hop line the bookshelf before him. He scratches his chin and then scribbles his thoughts and feelings onto a notepad. He writes from his own personal history and the learned history of ancestors. As a black poet, there is a lot left to say and so he says it.
Had we known that his work was published in Poetry magazine a month before, we would have been more nervous meeting him than we already were. Being published in Poetry is one of the highest marks of achievement a poet can reach. We were nervous and excited meeting him and that lasted through our conversations with him too. His intellect shines through every thoughtful word he speaks and like with his poems, I search for the several meanings that lay beyond what he’s pointing to. I’m captivated and inspired and I want to know more about what he’s saying.