Hanif Abdurraqib

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Hanif Abdurraqib
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib pictured in front of a map of Ohio. He wears a black shirt and jacket and a red baseball cap, turned backwards, and looks off-camera.
Abdurraqib in 2016
Born (1983-08-25) August 25, 1983 (age 38)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
OccupationPoet, music critic
GenrePoetry, essays, non-fiction
SubjectMusic, culture, identity
Notable worksThe Crown Ain't Worth Much They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
Notable awardsMacArthur Fellow
Website
www.abdurraqib.com/

Hanif Abdurraqib is an American poet, essayist, and cultural critic. He is the author of 2016 poetry collection The Crown Ain't Worth Much (published as Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib), the 2017 essay collection They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, the 2019 non-fiction book, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes on A Tribe Called Quest on the American hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, the 2019 poetry collection A Fortune for Your Disaster, and the 2021 essay collection A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance which received the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.[1] Go Ahead in the Rain was on the long list for the 2019 National Book Award.

Early life[edit]

Abdurraqib was born on August 25, 1983 and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He was raised Muslim.[2][3][4] He graduated from Beechcroft High School in 2001. He then attended Capital University, where he earned a degree in marketing and played on the soccer team.[5]

Career[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Columbus is the setting for Abdurraqib's first book, a poetry collection called The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry, July 2016).[6] Publishers Weekly's review noted, "When Willis-Abdurraqib meditates on the dangers of being young and black in America, the power of his poetry is undeniable".[7] The Indiana Review called the collection "expansive and rich...compassionate, elegiac."[8] Fusion called his "poetry a crash course in emotional honesty."[9] Writing of the collection's titular poem, The Huffington Post said Abdurraqib's "chilling take on black death is heartbreakingly true."[10]

Abdurraqib is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow. PBS's Articulate with Jim Cotter described Abdurraqib as "of a generation that is helping to redefine poetry".[11] Blavity called Abdurraqib one of "13 Young Black Poets You Should Know".[12] He is a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine[13] and a founder, with Eve Ewing, of the Echo Hotel poetry collective. He edited an anthology of poems about pop music called Again I Wait For This To Pull Apart (FreezeRay Press, 2015).[14] In April 2017 his chapbook Vintage Sadness had a limited edition release by Big Lucks, selling out its print run of 500 copies in just under six hours. In August 2017, he was named the managing editor of Button Poetry. On September 3, 2019, Tin House released Abdurraqib's second poetry collection, A Fortune for Your Disaster.[15][16][17]

Abdurraqib was a visiting poet teaching in the MFA program at Butler University during the fall of 2018.[18][19]

Prose[edit]

Abdurraqib's writing has appeared in The Fader, The New York Times, and Pitchfork,[20] as well as previously serving as a columnist at MTV News,[21] writing about music, culture, and identity. The Huffington Post named his essay on Fetty Wap's song "Trap Queen" to its list of "The Most Important Writing From People of Color in 2015."[22] Discussing Abdurraqib's essay on the late Muhammed Ali as inspiration to a generation of hip-hop artists, critic Ned Raggett called the piece a "standout" among the many elegies.[23]

Abdurraqib's essay collection They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us was published in November 2017 by Two Dollar Radio.[24] The Chicago Tribune named it to a list of "25 must-read books" for the fall of 2017[25] and Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, calling the collection "mesmerizing and deeply perceptive".[26] The book also received favorable reviews from the Chicago Tribune[27] and The Washington Post (where Pete Tosiello described They Can't Kill Us as "a breathtaking collection of largely music-focused essays"),[28] and The New York Times Magazine featured a passage from the collection in the magazine's "New Sentences" column.[29]

Abdurraqib published Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest in 2019 as part of University of Texas Press's American Music Series,[30][31] edited by Jessica Hopper, David Menconi, and Oliver Wang.[32] It debuted at number 13 on The New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction[33] and received strongly favorable reviews from critics.[34][35] Reviewers stressed the accomplishment of integrating music history with both a broader history and a more personal one.[36] Writing for Publishers Weekly, Ed Nawotka called the book "part academic monograph on the group and its music, part pocket history of hip-hop, part memoir, and part epistolary elegy. It is a book that conveys the wonder of being a fan and the visceral impact of experiencing the feeling of having oneself reflected back in music and pop culture."[37] For NPR Lily Meyer praised Abdurraqib's "seemingly limitless capacity to share what moves him, which means that to read Go Ahead in the Rain, you don't need to be a Tribe Called Quest fan: Abdurraqib will make you one."[38] The book was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction[39] and longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction.[40]

In January 2018, Abdurraqib announced he had signed a two-book deal with Random House;[41] announced as a nonfiction book They Don't Dance No' Mo' on the history of black performance in the United States, to be published in 2020[37] and an essay collection following up on They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us.[41]

About They Can't Kill Us, a review from Booklist wrote: "Abdurraqib writes with uninhibited curiosity and insight about music and its ties to culture and memory, life and death, on levels personal, political, and universal... Abdurraqib’s poignant critiques, a catalog of the current moment and all that preceded it, inspire us to listen with our whole selves."[42]

The first book in the Random House deal was retitled A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance and was released March 30, 2021.[43] A Little Devil received a starred prepublication review in Publishers Weekly, which wrote: "Filled with nuance and lyricism, Abdurraqib's luminous survey is stunning."[43] Kirkus called the book: "A thoughtful memoir rolled into a set of joined essays on life, death, and the Black experience in America....Another winner from Abdurraqib, a writer always worth paying attention to."[44] Abdurraqib himself describes A Little Devil in America as "a catalogue of excitements".[45] The book was awarded the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.[46] It was also awarded the 2021 Gordon Burn Prize.[47]

Honors[edit]

In 2017, Abdurraqib received an honorary degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic.[48] The Crown Ain't Worth Much was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award[49] and nominated for a 2017 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.[50] They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us was named a best book of 2017 by numerous outlets, including NPR,[51] Pitchfork,[52] the Los Angeles Review,[53] the Chicago Tribune,[54] Stereogum,[55] the National Post (Canada),[56] Paste,[57] the CBC,[58] and Esquire.[59] Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest was a finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction[39] and was longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction.[40]

In June 2021, Cbus Libraries announced they are commissioning The People’s Mural of Columbus, which will feature Abdurraqib. The mural is set to be completed in August 2021 in the writer's hometown of Columbus, Ohio.[60]

Abdurraqib was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2021.[61]

Personal life[edit]

In 2017, Abdurraqib moved back to Columbus, Ohio.[62] He previously lived in New Haven, Connecticut.[63]

Works[edit]

  • (ed.) Again I Wait For This To Pull Apart (as Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib; FreezeRay Press, 2015)
  • The Crown Ain't Worth Much (as Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib; Button Poetry, 2016) ISBN 978-1-943735-04-4
  • Vintage Sadness (as Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib; Big Lucks, 2017)
  • They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017)
  • Go Ahead in the Rain (University of Texas Press, 2019)
  • A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019)
  • A Little Devil in America (Random House, 2021)
  • There's Always This Year (Random House, forthcoming)
  • Untitled essay collection (Random House, forthcoming)

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu,' 'A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance' receive 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction ALA News, January 23, 2022.
  2. ^ https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/hanifabdurraqib/why-i-still-fast-during-ramadan
  3. ^ Lam, Amy (April 28, 2016). "Writer Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib on Poetry & Punk Rock". Bitch Magazine. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  4. ^ Thompson, Erica (July 14, 2016). "People: Poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib explores the changing landscape of Columbus". Columbus Alive. Archived from the original on July 15, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  5. ^ Oller, Julia. "Hanif Abdurraqib's Columbus". Columbus Monthly. Archived from the original on August 10, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Roka, Les (June 21, 2016). "Backstage at The Utah Arts Festival 2016: A closer look at some of the nationally known Literary Arts performers, poets, songwriters". The Utah Review. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The Crown Ain't Worth Much by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib". Publishers Weekly. June 20, 2016. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  8. ^ Palomo, Willy (July 8, 2016). "Microreview: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib's The Crown Ain't Worth Much". Indiana Review. Archived from the original on August 8, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  9. ^ McKinney, Kelsey (July 20, 2016). "Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib's poetry is a crash course in emotional honesty". Fusion. Archived from the original on July 21, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Finley, Taryn (May 25, 2016). "This Poet's Chilling Take On Black Death Is Heartbreakingly True". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 18 June 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  11. ^ Cotter, Jim (April 27, 2016). "Articulate on PBS | Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Goldberg Variations, Krimes". PBS Articulate with Jim Cotter. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Mendoza, Genesis (May 5, 2015). "13 Young Black Poets You Should Know -". Blavity. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Sullivan, Dan "Sully" (February 19, 2016). "Muzzle Magazine: Conversations About History and Aesthetic with Stevie Edwards and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib". Columbia Poetry Review. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
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  15. ^ "Archived copy". www.publishersweekly.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  17. ^ Bracken, Conor (November 27, 2019). ""What a Miracle": On Hanif Abdurraqib's "A Fortune for Your Disaster"". Los Angeles Review of Books. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  18. ^ Abdurraqib, Hanif (February 5, 2018). "in a Day Of News: I'm joining the MFA faculty at Butler University this fall, teaching the poetry workshop. This is a real honor and I'm excited for the challenge". Twitter. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  19. ^ Abdurraqib, Hanif (March 16, 2018). "Got my letter of appointment to teach at Butler in the fall on the same day they won their first game of the tournament, gotta be a good sign of something". Twitter. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Roka, Les (June 21, 2016). "Backstage at The Utah Arts Festival 2016: Literary Arts venue - relevant, human, powerful, voluminous". The Utah Review. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  21. ^ Cooper, Julia (January 10, 2017). "'This Brief, Bright Collection of Hours': An Interview with Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib". Hazlitt. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  22. ^ Blay, Zeba (16 December 2015). "The Most Important Writing From People Of Color In 2015". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  23. ^ Raggett, Ned (June 9, 2016). "Ned's Atomic Link Bin: Kim Kardashian: Punk Inspiration, Iranian Rave Busts, When ZZ Top Were the Zombies and More". Nashville Scene. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  24. ^ "THEY CAN'T KILL US UNTIL THEY KILL US by Hanif Abdurraqib". Kirkus Reviews. October 2, 2017. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  25. ^ Pearson, Laura. "25 must-read books this fall". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  26. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Essays by Hanif Abdurraqib. Two Dollar Radio, $15.99 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-937512-65-1". Publishers Weekly. August 14, 2017. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  27. ^ Muyumba, Walton (November 20, 2017). "Hanif Abdurraqib's new collection of music criticism, essays vibrates with soul". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  28. ^ Tosiello, Pete (December 12, 2017). "Review | Hanif Abdurraqib's vital meditation on music — and living and dying in America". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  29. ^ Anderson, Sam (December 8, 2017). "New Sentences: From Hanif Abdurraqib's 'They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  30. ^ "Dealmaker: University of Texas Press". Publishers Marketplace.
  31. ^ Hopper, Jessica (March 16, 2018). "In the American Music Series is @NifMuhammad's forthcoming critical history of Tribe Called Quest. Some previous hitters: Kristin Hersh's Vic Chesnutt bk, Holly Gleason's bk on legacy of women in country, bks from Chris Stamey and Alina Simone". Twitter. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  32. ^ "American Music Series". The University of Texas Press. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  33. ^ "Paperback Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers". The New York Times. February 17, 2019. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  34. ^ Szalai, Jennifer (January 30, 2019). "An Intensely Personal Tribute to A Tribe Called Quest". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  35. ^ "Book Marks reviews of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib". Book Marks. Archived from the original on October 25, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  36. ^ Edgers, Geoff (January 26, 2019). "A true fan offers a riveting tribute to A Tribe Called Quest". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  37. ^ a b Nawotka, Ed (January 11, 2019). "WI14: Looking at Our Cultural Moment with Hanif Abdurraqib". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  38. ^ Meyer, Lily (February 5, 2019). "In 'Go Ahead In The Rain,' The Love For A Tribe Called Quest Is Infectious". NPR. Archived from the original on February 8, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  39. ^ a b "KIRKUS ANNOUNCES THE FINALISTS FOR THE 2019 KIRKUS PRIZE". Kirkus Reviews. Archived from the original on October 24, 2020. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  40. ^ a b "Nonfiction - 70th National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. September 18, 2019. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  41. ^ a b Abdurraqib, Hanif (January 19, 2018). "SOME NEWS, FRIENDS. I will be writing two books for Random House. This is very much a dream come true. I hope the books are not bad. Shoutout to Goodie Mob for the title. Shoutout to all the writers who pushed & continue to push me to be better.pic.twitter.com/gTV9zASEbp". Twitter. Archived from the original on January 19, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  42. ^ "Buy My Books". Hi. I'm Hanif. I write poems. I write Things About Music. I am probably eating french fries. Retrieved 2021-07-23.
  43. ^ a b "A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance". Publishers Weekly. December 30, 2020. Archived from the original on January 10, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  44. ^ "A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance". Kirkus Reviews. December 22, 2020.
  45. ^ Abdurraqib, Hanif (March 12, 2021). "From Soul Train to Beyoncé: the joy of black performance in America". The Guardian.
  46. ^ Italie, Hillel (January 24, 2022). "Hanif Abdurraqib, Tom Lin receive Carnegie literary awards". Associated Press. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  47. ^ Flood, Alison (October 14, 2021). "Hanif Abdurraqib wins the Gordon Burn prize for A Little Devil in America". The Guardian. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  48. ^ "COA commencement set". Mount Desert Islander. May 26, 2017. Archived from the original on January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
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  52. ^ Carroll, Tobias (November 21, 2017). "Pitchfork's 16 Favorite Music Books of 2017: They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us By Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
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  60. ^ "The People's Mural of Columbus". Cbus Libraries. 2021-06-17. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  61. ^ "MacArthur Foundation Announces 2021 'Genius' Grant Winners". The New York Times. September 28, 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  62. ^ Abdurraqib, Hanif (December 8, 2017). "The Year in Living Alone". Hazlitt. Archived from the original on January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  63. ^ "The Conversation: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and Paul Tran". The Rumpus.net. March 28, 2016. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.

External links[edit]