Institutional News

National Book Award Finalist Jericho Brown to Speak at January MFA Commencement

Jericho Brown, finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry, will be the Commencement speaker for the Bennington Writing Seminars in January 2020.

Photo of Jericho Brown

Brown will deliver the Commencement address on Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 pm in the Usdan Gallery. Brown’s address will be open to the public, and it will be recorded and available to watch afterward via the Bennington Writing Seminars website.

While at Bennington, Brown will be in conversation with Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars Mark Wunderlich in a Life of Letters panel. Brown will also give a public reading.

During the ten-day residency, the Bennington Writing Seminars also welcomes visiting writers Jia Tolentino, staff writer at The New Yorker, and Jamel Brinkley, Stegner Fellow and author of the novel A Lucky Man. Tolentino will be in conversation with faculty member Benjamin Anastas in a Life of Letters panel, and Brinkley will teach a Master Class.

Brown is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of a Whiting Award. His first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection is The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019), for which he was shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. 

Brown’s poems have appeared in The Bennington Review, Buzzfeed, Fence, jubilat, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TIME Magazine, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.