The Study of Human Life Paperback by Joshua Bennett

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The Study of Human Life Paperback by Joshua Bennett

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Penguin Books (2022-09-20)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9780143136828
  • Item Weight: 181.44 grams
  • Dimensions: 8.98 x 5.95 x 0.4 cm

Winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize, and longlisted for the Griffin Prize and the Massachusetts Book Award

An acclaimed poet further extends his range into the realm of speculative fiction, while addressing issues as varied as abolition, Black ecological consciousness, and the boundless promise of parenthood

Featuring the novella “The Book of Mycah,” soon to be adapted by Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions & Warner Bros. TV


Across three sequences, Joshua Bennett’s new book recalls and reimagines social worlds almost but not entirely lost, all while gesturing toward the ones we are building even now, in the midst of a state of emergency, together. Bennett opens with a set of autobiographical poems that deal with themes of family, life, death, vulnerability, and the joys and dreams of youth. The central section, “The Book of Mycah,” features an alternate history where Malcolm X is resurrected from the dead, as is a young black man shot by the police some fifty years later in Brooklyn. The final section of The Study of Human Life are poems that Bennett has written about fatherhood, on the heels of his own first child being born last fall.

About the Author

Poet, performer, and scholar Joshua Bennett is the author of three collections of poetry: The Study of Human Life, Owed, and The Sobbing School; a book of criticism, Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man; and a work of narrative nonfiction, Spoken Word: A Cultural History. He received his PhD in English from Princeton University, and is currently Professor of Literature and Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at MIT. His writing has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. In 2021, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award in Poetry and Nonfiction. He lives in Boston.


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