- Category: PA 2011
Joshua Bennett is an award-winning performance poet from Yonkers, New York. An alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, Bennett graduated with the distinctions of Phi Beta Kappa in recognition as being amongst the most outstanding students of arts and sciences at America’s leading colleges and universities. He also obtained a magna cum laude in English and Africana Studies. Bennett has also been the recipient of a Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship and a Marshall Scholarship. He is currently earning his Masters in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.
Bennett has recited his original work at events such as The Sundance Film Festival, the celebrated NAACP Image Awards, the ESPN documentary One Night in Vegas, as well as alongside former U.S. Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Rita Dove at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
One of Bennett’s most notable performances has been at President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House, in the presence of President Barack and Michelle Obama themselves.
Bennett has been a featured poet on the original cast of the HBO series Brave New Voices. He was also commissioned to create an original work for Ralph Lauren’s Rugby promotional campaign, The Rugby Poets Club.
In 2009, Bennett published Jesus Riding Shotgun, a book of autobiographical poems.
A campaigner of human rights issues in the United States, Bennett co-founded his campus' NAACP chapter, as well as Black Men United, an advocacy group that holds open forums to foster a dialogue between students, faculty and the community about identity, relationships and agency.