Joshua Bennett


“My larger creative project as an artist & scholar centers around a desire to cultivate new vocabularies for living/thinking/writing/performing blackness, destabilize hegemonic conceptions of beauty and strength, and, as much as is possible within the constraints of linear time, have mad fun writing poems and teaching workshops and telling jokes with my friends. I am committed to the love and care of friends. I am committed to expansive notions of kin that transcend species. Put (just a little bit) differently, I am committed to the flourishing of life, to the joy of the plant and animal world, and the collective empowerment of marginalized persons everywhere. Word is bond.”

social_facebook     social_twitter_bird



Joshua Bennett is a performance poet from Yonkers, NY.  He has recited his original works at events and venues such as The Sundance Film Festival, The NAACP Image Awards, The Clinton Global Citizen Awards and President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Drunken Boat, Muzzle, Poetry Northeast, Disability Studies Quarterly and Clarion.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Joshua graduated with the distinctions of Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, after double majoring in English and Africana Studies. He is currently a third-year doctoral candidate in the English Department at Princeton
University, where he concentrates primarily in the fields of black studies, disability studies, and ecocriticism.  When he is not writing, reading or performing, Joshua enjoys watching the hit Cartoon Network series, Adventure Time with Finn and Jake and practicing his free throws. He currently shoots about 62% from the line. He’s working on it.



10 Responses to “Joshua Bennett”

  1. Sam Tamo says:


    My man. What an inspiration. I’m not one to do this whole internet message bit but I decided your work and impact definitely deserve gratitude, respect, and recognition. I enjoy all of the Strivers Row work though your Balaenoptera piece was my first experience with this movement. That poem, music, passion, and taste…the youthful, experienced, and engaged tone of the entire group is a blessing and I want you all to know how appreciated your courage and dedication are!!!

    LoVe and PEACE!!

    Samuel Tamo

  2. Prince Enoch Afful says:

    hey Josh :)

    I’m 21 year old poet/spoken word artist from Ghana, poetic prince is my stage name

    you might not know this, but I’m your biggest fan from Africa. you inspire me a lot, your performances are just awesome and give me reasons not to quit spoken word. keep doing what you do best, don’t stop, because I’m loving everything of what you do. i draw a lot of inspirations from you, i kind of lisp and i was wondering how you still be able to pull awesome performances despite that. how do you do that, mentor. one of my greatest wish is to perform on stage with you one day, at least meet you and shake hands with you. i don’t know if that would be possible, i don’t know if voices from Africa would ever be heard on these streets, i don’t know if STRIVERS ROW, would ever come to Africa(Ghana in particular; where i am), but i do know, or perhaps hope, that meeting you and the rest of the team one day would be dope!

    love you Josh!! no homo. hahahaha

  3. Levi says:

    Hey Josh Im a spoken word poet from DC I write and I love it been doing it for years now and when I heard your poem “Levi” it really captivated me I have a little brother in the exact same situation and I was able to play that for him and you summed up what I have been trying to tell him for the last 19 years so I just want to thank you it would be nice to meet you one of these days to tell you in person and I would love to meet the rest of the strivers maybe one day I can create a group we can all collaborate the skies the limit

  4. I am interested in your work, and I believe the students at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, PA, would be interested in hearing you, and learning from you. Any possibility that you have availability in the fall of 2014? ….perhaps for a few days; writers’ workshop and recital of selected poems for our students……

  5. Jdub says:

    Joshua, my son met you at his High School today 4/24/14 and was very impressed. He asked me to check you out online. I must say, you are unbelievable! Keep up the good work and stay strong my brother.

  6. j.liives says:

    great work my man! you are noticed by many and not only that its also motivating! believe me inspiration has come from you just being you!

  7. James says:

    Joshua, I was inspired by your poem Balaenoptera and I wanted to know even if you don’t see if this was a good poem?

    Cupids Arrow
    Our love is blossom streaks that lazily scale there way up the barricade of vitality.
    Our chastised disturbances grapple each other and suffocate a godlike feeling as we walk down that haven of bleached bouquets.
    An arrow of devotion flung from the heaven gates cupid waits for sorrows fait to slave rape the sadness within night owls, that howl foul becomes a lot less black, as it tip toes and mantles its restless fire arms around the twilight.

    Hatred scoped from the cooler unit of mangled souls.
    A restless desire to love one another lies sea deep with patriotic morphlings defending it, until one of us, is selected to gash the caged bait and fine the one it’s destined for.
    Your whisper, bear hugs every infant letter i explicitly split through your misplaced thoughts aggressively bursting their way through my cage of vicarious affections.

    Arguments will draft their fashion beneath our hooves it’s as if gales ambush has risen upon us.
    Our fractured devotion destined to be sewn back at ease.
    Baffled rib cages awarding their route back into a beaten soul.
    I know love is a lot more than a ring and a paper.
    But if you want a true love for love is what you savor.

  8. RJ.Don says:

    Joshua, I can’t comprehend how much of an inspiration you have become for me. Your work is beyond amazing and I just want you to know how talented you are.

  9. Don Soul says:

    Hello and good morning,

    I just wanted to ask what brought up your love for poetry ? , and how do you paint the picture in your poems so well . if you can answer that would help me out a lot thanks .

Leave a Reply to Jdub Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>