Celebrated author, poet, essayist to appear at Central State



2021 MacArthur Fellow, Hanif Abdurraqib, will appear Sept. 20 at Central State University for a public reading and fireside chat with CSU Professor of Music Jenny Cruz. The event, slated for 6:30 p.m. in the University Student Center, Room 201-202, is free and open to the public.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Abdurraqib has had his poetry published in Muzzle, Vinyl and PEN American among other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker and Pitchfork among others.

His most recent book, “A Little Devil in America,” was a winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and the Gordon Burn Prize, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pen/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award. In 2017, his first collection of essays, “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us,” was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Review among others. His first full-length poetry collection, “The Crown Ain’t Worth Much,” was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. It was also named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

“I fell in love with Hanif’s work because he reminded me of my childhood, of college days hanging out with my friends listening to the Pharcyde, of the grief of losing my brother,” said Cruz, in a release. “Hanif has the incredible ability to remind us that no matter what lines we draw around us, we share so much more than we think. In a time when the world is in so much pain, he’s a cynic who gives me so much hope. And he has dope T-shirts. Who doesn’t love a dope T-shirt?”

Abdurraqib plans to read selections from his books and answer questions from the audience.

For more information, call 937-376-6406 or email Jenny Cruz at jcruz@centralstate.edu.

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