Hanif Abdurraqib


Hanif Abdurraqib's AViD program will be viewable through Wednesday, April 21.

Please note: This program contains adult language. 

Wednesday, April 14, 7:00 PM, Zoom


Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in MuzzleVinylPEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADERPitchforkThe New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in 2016. It was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in 2017, and his second book, Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest, was published in 2019. Both received wide critical acclaim, being named to several “best of the year” lists, including that of Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, GQ, Paste, Pitchfork, and more. His second collection of poems, A Fortune For Your Disaster, was released in September 2019.

His newest book, being released in March, is titled A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. In the book, Hanif reflects on Black performance and performers and how they are inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. From major figures such as Merry Clayton, Jacqueline Baker, and Beyoncé to the small examples, like a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or “the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt,” Abdurraqib writes how these moments have layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.


Joseph Jones


This program will be moderated by Joseph Jones. Jones serves as Executive Director for The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement. The Institute offers nonpartisan programming, experiences, research, and connectivity focused on four areas that defined the career of Senator Tom Harkin (Retired): people with disabilities, retirement security, wellness and nutrition, and labor and employment.

Before joining The Harkin Institute in 2016, Joseph was Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Joseph also served as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Tom Harkin in Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the Senator’s defense appropriations work as well as the full range of military and veterans issues.  In 2017 Joseph was elected to the city council of Windsor Heights, Iowa. He was also chosen as the city’s Citizen of the Year in 2020.