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Purchase College Hosts Award-Winning Poet Jericho Brown

Acclaimed poet will launch this season’s Durst Distinguished Lecture series on Feb. 17

Jericho Brown. [Photo credit-John Lucas]

Purchase, NY – Purchase College-SUNY will present the award-winning poet Jericho Brown on Monday, February 17, 2020. The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place at Purchase College in the Humanities Theatre, Humanities Building (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY). The event is part of the Durst Distinguished Lecture Series, a treasured cultural offering that brings leading literary figures to the Westchester community.

Jericho Brown is the author of three poetry collections: The Tradition, named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award; The New Testament, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and named one of the best books of the year by the Academy of American Poets; and Please, winner of the 2009 American Book Award. His poems have been published in the New Yorker, the New Republic, and The Best American Poetry.

“Jericho Brown’s poems are formally intricate and intensely alive,” said Anthony Domestico, associate professor of literature at Purchase College. “They move between the public and the private, exhibiting great tenderness and bold political witness.” 

According to Monica Ferrell, associate professor of creative writing at Purchase College, “With his third and most ambitious book, Jericho Brown has cemented his status as one of the most important voices of his generation. The Tradition explores connections between the personal and the political, between language and poetic form and the hierarchies and histories from which they sprang.

“Take for example the book’s title poem, a sonnet, which interweaves the scientific names of cultivated flowers with the names of young Black men who lost their lives to police violence, and links the tilled earth with its beauty and bounty to the American legacy of slavery. The result is a tour-de-force that will both dazzle you and break your heart,” she added.

Additional highlights of this season’s Durst program include the renowned author Edwidge Danticat, who has been named the 2019-2020 Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature, returning to campus on March 17. Two other acclaimed authors will also be featured: Francisco Goldman on March 3 and Christopher Feliciano Arnold on April 20.

The Durst Distinguished Lecture Series and the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature are funded by the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature Endowment. The mission of the Durst programs is to infuse the experience and intellect of leading writers into the Purchase community while providing diverse opportunities for these writers to interact with students and influence campus life. Durst Lecturers have won the highest level of literary honors, including National Book Awards, MacArthur Foundation Grants, Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and Man Booker Prizes for Fiction.

For more information, please visit: or call 914.251.6550.

About Purchase College-SUNY

Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspirations for Purchase were to combine on one campus conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences. Today, Purchase College-SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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