April 19: NH Humanities Presents The Environmental Poetics of Lucille Clifton

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Date(s) - April 19, 2024
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The Use of Flowers

The Environmental Poetics

of Lucille Clifton

Friday, April 19 at 5:00 pm (ET) on ZOOM
Presented by Professor Joshua Bennett

What can poetry and children’s literature teach us about the way we see the future of our planet? Professor Joshua Bennett will focus on the environmental poetics of children’s book author and poet Lucille Clifton. Engaging with her life, poetry, and works of literature, Bennett will argue that what appears to be apocalypticism in her work is kind of an Afrofuturism– a willingness to take seriously the idea that any apocalypse is an opening to improvise a different way of sharing our planet. Clifton’s vast environmental imagination helped lay the groundwork for a black ecological consciousness, rooted in a commitment to care for the Earth, for the 21st century and beyond.

Please register here for this Zoom presentation!

About the presenter: 

Joshua Bennett is Professor of Literature and Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of five books: The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016), winner of the National Poetry Series and finalist for an NAACP Image Award, Being Property Once Myself (Harvard University Press, 2020), winner of the MLA’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize, Owed (Penguin, 2020), The Study of Human Life (Penguin, 2022), which was named winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize and is currently being adapted for television in partnership with Warner Brothers Studios, and Spoken Word: A Cultural History (Knopf, 2023), named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Joshua has received fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.


For 50 years, New Hampshire Humanities has been connecting people to culture, history, places, ideas, and one another. Each month, Humanities@Home will highlight a topic that NHH addressed during its history that still resonates today. NHH has supported poetry programs throughout the last 50 years—from Robert Frost’s New Hampshire in the 80s to the Kearsage Poetry festival in 2006. This program looks at the cultural history of spoken word and performative poetry, including slam poetry.