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Professor of English and Modern Languages Benjamin Grossberg Publishes Two Books of Poetry

November 11, 2020

Grossberg embraces role as West Hartford's Poet Laureate

Professor of English and Modern Languages Benjamin Grossberg is releasing two new books during the pandemic. He says both are the result of many years of work and it is a coincidence that they are being published at the same time. His first book, The Poetry of Capital, is an anthology of poems addressing the contemporary American relationship with money. Grossberg hopes to add national conversation with this book on economic challenges.
 
“This project arose out of the concern that my co-editor and I share about the current wealth inequity in the United States. We chose poems from a wide diversity of poets, all talking about their experiences with money: how they learned about it, how it has structured their lives, and how they see it playing out in our shared, public American life.”

His second book, My Husband Would, is a poetry piece that tackles the idea of marriage and family in the context of middle age. “It has been three years now since gay marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court. For me—perhaps for many gay men—that legalization made the question inevitable: if marriage is now a legal option, is it an option for me, in my life?”  

Along with writing two new books, Grossberg has been recently named West Hartford’s Poet Laureate. It is awarded to an individual who gives back to the community of West Hartford by hosting poetry workshops and readings. “COVID-19 has made this role more complicated, but I am collaborating with the West Hartford Public Library right now, to arrange a regular program," says Grossberg.

For those who are curious about English and Modern Languages, come take a class! Introduction to Literature (ENG 140) and Introduction to Creative Writing (ENG 225W) are great places to start. The professors in the department are funny, warm, and full of energy. If you take one class, you’ll end up wanting to take more.

Benjamin Grossberg, Professor of English and Modern Languages; Director of Creative Writing Program
As director of UHart’s creative writing program, Grossberg oversees the annual spring creative writing contest which is open to any UHart student. Held every spring, the contest offers 10 categories and has no entry fee. It includes critical essays on literature, to short stories and poems. “The contest recognizes work written in introductory classes (like WRT 110, 111, and 210); critical essays on literature; interdisciplinary essays; and original poems, plays, personal essays, and short stories,” he says. “The contests are endowed by alumni, so even in these times of economic uncertainty, they will still award thousands of dollars in prize money. I hope every UHart student reading this considers sending in an entry or two!”  

Grossberg points out that UHart has a great literary magazine, Aerie, which will be accepting submissions in the fall of ’21. “In addition to Aerie, there are great websites and magazines all around the state and country. The only way to get poems published is to get them out there. Remember, all writers get rejected sometimes. The ones who get published? They’re the ones who keep trying.”