Institutional News

Spring 2024 Poetry at Bennington Series Announced

Poetry at Bennington, an endowed program of short-term residencies that brings established and emerging poets to Bennington College for public readings and close work with students, has announced its Spring 2024 lineup of featured poets.

All Poetry at Bennington events are free and open to the public. They take place in various locations on the College’s campus.

“I am so excited for this spring’s lineup of visiting poets, a mix of well-established and vibrant emerging voices, representing some of what I find most exciting in American poetry today, all of whom push aesthetic boundaries and deftly interrogate through their innovative poems our history, culture, identity, and society, ” said Poetry Faculty and Poetry at Bennington Director Michael Dumanis. “Our guests this term include the National Book Award finalist and famed spoken-word artist Patricia Smith, avant-garde poet and translator Mónica de la Torre, two recent winners of the Yale Younger Poets Prize, a recent winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and the multidisciplinary writer and visual artist Khadijah Queen, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.”

Patricia Smith in Conversation with Michael Dumanis
11:00 am Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at East Academic Center, Classroom 2

Reading by Patricia Smith
7:00 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at Tishman Lecture Hall 

Reading by Mary-Alice Daniel and Cindy Juyoung Ok
7:00 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at Tishman Lecture Hall 

Mary-Alice Daniel and Cindy Juyoung Ok in Conversation with Michael Dumanis
12:30 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024, at CAPA Symposium

Reading by Mónica de la Torre and Courtney Faye Taylor
7:00 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at Tishman Lecture Hall 

Mónica de la Torre and Courtney Faye Taylor in Conversation with Michael Dumanis
12:30 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024, at CAPA Symposium

Reading by Khadijah Queen
7:00 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at Tishman Lecture Hall 

Khadijah Queen in Conversation with Michael Dumanis
12:30 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024, at CAPA Symposium

About the Spring 2024 Featured Poets

Patricia Smith has been called “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” She is the author of Unshuttered (Northwestern University Press, 2023), Incendiary Art (Northwestern University Press, 2017), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, an NAACP Image Award, and finalist for both the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House, 2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (Coffee House, 2008), a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina which was nominated for a National Book Award; and Teahouse of the Almighty (Coffee House, 2005), a National Poetry Series selection. In 2021 she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Poetry magazine, the Paris Review, the New York Times, TriQuarterly, and many publications and anthologies. Smith is the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and residencies. She is a distinguished professor of English for the City University of New York and a lecturer in creative writing at Princeton University. 

Mary-Alice Daniel was born near the Niger/Nigeria border, then raised in England and Tennessee. A cross-genre author, she has published work in New England Review, American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, The Yale Review, Callaloo, and several journals and anthologies. MASS FOR SHUT-INS, her first book of poetry, won the 117th Yale Younger Poets Prize and was released in March 2023. In 2022, her tri-continental memoir, A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing (Ecco/HarperCollins), was People’s Book of the Week and one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Nonfiction Books of the Year.  An alumna of Yale University (BA) and the University of Michigan (MFA), she received her PhD in English literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California. Thereafter, she began a postdoctoral research fellowship at Brown University and served as the inaugural Visiting Writer-in-Residence at Washington University in St. Louis. She holds the 2024 Mary Routt Endowed Chair of Writing at Scripps College.

Cindy Juyoung Ok is a writer, an editor, and an educator. Her debut poetry collection, Ward Toward, won the 2023 Yale Younger Poets Prize. A MacDowell Fellow, her poems have been published in The Nation, The Yale Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. Ok was a finalist for a 2022 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, has served as a Poetry Foundation Library Forms & Features visiting teaching artist, and was a reviewer for Harriet Books in 2022-2023.

Mónica de la Torre was born and raised in Mexico City. She earned a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and, with the support of a Fulbright scholarship, relocated to New York in 1993 to pursue an MFA and a PhD in Spanish literature at Columbia University. Her full-length poetry collections include Repetition Nineteen (2020), Public Domain (2008), Talk Shows (2007). She has also published the chapbooks Four (Switchback) and The Happy End (Song Cave). De la Torre coedited, with Michael Wiegers, the bilingual anthology Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (2002). Her translations from Spanish include Lila Zemborain’s Mauve Sea-Orchids (2007, co-translated with Rosa Alcalá) and Poems by Gerardo Deniz (2000), which she also edited. De la Torre’s honors include a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Brooklyn College.

Courtney Faye Taylor is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of Concentrate (Graywolf Press, 2022), winner of the 2021 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the 2023 Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and the T.S. Eliot Foundation and a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and the Heartland Booksellers Award. Her writing can be found in Ploughshares, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Taylor won a 92Y Discovery Prize in 2017 and an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2015. 

Khadijah Queen is ​the author of six books, most recently Anodyne (Tin House 2020), a ​finalist for the Colorado Book Award and winner of the William Carlos ​Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her fifth book, I'm ​So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books 2017), ​was praised in O Magazine, The New Yorker, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere ​as “quietly devastating” and “a portrait of defiance that turns the male ​gaze inside out.” Her verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press 2015) won ​the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women's Performance ​Writing. A hybrid essay about the pandemic, ​“False Dawn,” which appeared in Harper’s Magazine, was named a Notable ​Essay of 2020 in Best American Essays (HarperCollins 2021) and was ​reprinted in the anthology Bigger Than Bravery (2023). Individual ​poems, interviews, and essays appear in Ploughshares, American ​Poetry Review, Georgia Review, and widely ​elsewhere. In 2022, she was awarded a Disability Futures fellowship​ from United States Artists. A Cave Canem alum, she holds a PhD in ​English and Literary Arts from University of Denver and teaches ​creative writing, literature, and poetics.

About Poetry at Bennington

Since its establishment in 2012, Poetry at Bennington has brought more than 50 poets to campus, including Poets Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winners, along with a diverse range of emerging and established poets. During the short-term residencies, the poets give public readings and engage directly with students through question-and-answer sessions, craft lectures, master classes, group writing exercises, and individual consultations. The events are free and regularly attract students from neighboring colleges, as well as poetry enthusiasts across southern Vermont and western Massachusetts. 

Past visiting poets include Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award Winners Timothy Donnelly, Ross Gay, Matthea Harvey, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Ariana Reines; Poets Laureate Joy Harjo, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, and Natasha Trethewey; MacArthur “Genius” Grant Award Winners Claudia Rankine and C.D. Wright; National Book Award Winners Daniel Borzutzky, Robin Coste Lewis, Mark Doty, and Terrance Hayes; and Pulitzer Prize Winners Rae Armantrout, Jericho Brown, and Jorie Graham.