Alumni News, Faculty News

Bennington's Debut Poets

Poetry faculty Phillip B. Williams and alumna Safiya Sinclair '10 were included in an article on Poets&Writers called "The Shadows of Words: Our Twelfth Annual Look At Debut Poets." 

Each year, Poets&Writers chooses a selection of writers who have recently published their first books of poetry to highlight in their annual roundup. They are "the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers." 

Previously featured poets include Jericho Brown, whose work has been published in Bennington Review and who spoke as part of the Poetry At Bennington series, Natalie Diaz, who will speak as part of the MFA Program's Writers Reading series this winter, and Dorothea Lasky, who read for the Poetry At Bennington series in fall 2015. 

For the series, each writers is profiled in an in-depth interview. Each interview also includes a link to an audio recording of a selection of their poetry.

 When asked about his inspirations for his first full-length collection of poems,Thief In The Interior, Williams responded that, "On Black Men by David Marriott was always on my mind while writing. The work of my peers. The work of those who have become ancestors."

In response to the same question, Sinclair said, "Always in my ear is the ghost meter of the Caribbean Sea, its old rhythm and singing. The possessed tempo of Pocomania, and the fire-root of duende. I am continually inspired by the fertile landscape of Jamaica, which fevers my dreams—our lush hills and blooms, our heavy fruit trees. The way nothing here grows politely. The wild animal of my childhood and its green river of memory."

Her debut collection, Cannibal, won the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, among other honors.