Curiosity Unbounded, Ep. 5: Beyond words
[MUSIC PLAYING] SALLY KORNBLUTH: Hello. I'm Sally Kornbluth, President of MIT. And I'm thrilled to welcome you to this MIT Community Podcast, Curiosity Unbounded. Since I arrived at MIT, I've been particularly inspired by talking with members of our faculty who recently earned tenure or who recently arrived here at MIT. Like their colleagues in every field here, they are pushing the boundaries of knowledge.
Their passion and their brilliance, their boundless curiosity offer a wonderful glimpse of the future of MIT. Today, my guest is Joshua Bennett. Joshua is a Professor of Literature and Distinguished Chair of the Humanities at MIT.
He's also an accomplished author and performer who brings his poetry alive both for his students and for those who've experienced his performances. Joshua, I'm excited to talk to you today. Thank you for being here.
JOSHUA BENNETT: Of course. Thanks for having me. SALLY KORNBLUTH: You wear multiple hats here. You're a professor, you're an artist, you're a performer.
Do you identify with one of those more than the others? JOSHUA BENNETT: It's a great question. I mean, the professor part is the most recent addition to my coterie of hats. I love that image, that's great. But I've been an artist my entire life.
My mother still has a shoe box full of my poems from when I was four and five years old under her bed in her new home in Cortlandt Manor, New York. And when I was a little boy, my whole family would gather around me after church, I would improvise these sermons for 30 to 40 minutes, and they would do the whole thing, the whole sort of congregational performance. They would say "amen" and clap and it was incredible. And I knew from that stage that I had a voice and I had a critical viewpoint, and that I could step out in the world and perform and still come out on the other end alive, which is a pretty incredible lesson for a four-year-old. SALLY KORNBLUTH: So what kind of things were you opining on as a four-year-old? JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, I mean, Jonah was my favorite, I think, figure from the biblical tradition.
And I always loved whales and animals. I mean, my dissertation was on animals, and I realize now that bright line has always been there. So Jonah was a big one for me.
Sampson was big. And then Joshua, my namesake-- SALLY KORNBLUTH: There you go. JOSHUA BENNETT: --that music could break down walls.
I thought it was pretty incredible. SALLY KORNBLUTH: There you go. I always used to laugh at my own children doing very complicated skits. JOSHUA BENNETT: Together? SALLY KORNBLUTH: Together, yeah. Or with their friends.
JOSHUA BENNETT: Wow. SALLY KORNBLUTH: So same idea, you manifest your traits very early on. JOSHUA BENNETT: Sure, sure, sure.
And, I mean, my big sister taught me to read and she did that through a dramatization. So my grandmother was a cosmetologist, and so my sister would take wigs from her salon and have the wigs and the costumes and the whole thing, and that's how I entered literature, it was through performance. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, that's fantastic. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah. That's always been a big part of my life, the artistry.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Looking at your website, your CV, your many, many accomplishments, what does success feel like for you? Do you feel like you're successful now? JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, Wow. That's quite the second question. Let me mull that over for a second.
Do I feel successful? I feel like I've achieved most of what I set out to achieve professionally, actually, which is incredible feeling. I just turned 35 over the weekend. But honestly, I think I measure success differently now as a father and as a community member. I first came to MIT eight years ago as a SHASS Predoctoral Fellow, and I sort of just fallen in love with being here in Massachusetts and I'm trying to find new ways to contribute to the community. So I work with the South Shore Conservatory, which does creative arts therapies with children, particularly children with disabilities.
I love teaching here at MIT. My students, they keep me on my toes and thinking of inventive ways to enter the classroom, but yeah, I guess I'm measuring success differently these days in terms of how do I impact the people I love and the communities that they're a part of. My son is turning three, and I think as soon as he was born, I realized, oh yeah, he's part of a world full of children who have all sorts of dreams for the future that I have to help build. And so I think maybe in this next phase of my life, that's really what I'm trying to attend to the most, is how to be successful in that realm of things. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah, that's really great.
If like that second question, here's the one that you'll really like. Do you have failures that you're proud of or that impacted you or that changed your direction? JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, 100%. So the first time I got up at an open mic in college at the University of Pennsylvania, I completely forgot my poem. I forgot the entire thing. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Excellent.
JOSHUA BENNETT: I practiced it 100 times in the mirror. I got up-- I maybe remembered the first two lines, and then I think I improvised maybe two or three more. SALLY KORNBLUTH: You were rewriting the poem in real-time. JOSHUA BENNETT: I just pretended that it was a haiku the whole time, and then I sat down. And that taught me a great deal. One, that maybe I needed to actually run the poems hundreds of times in everyday situations, which I have ever since.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Wow. JOSHUA BENNETT: But it also taught me a related lesson. As to that lesson in the dining room when I was little, which was that I didn't spontaneously combust when I forgot the poem. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Right. JOSHUA BENNETT: I wasn't only as good as my best performance. And so in that way, that failure taught me that, OK, this is a part of my life, but it's not everything.
And I don't have to measure my human value, I guess, against how good a particular performance goes. And so I perform at the White House about two years later and I'm glad I had that lesson before I got there. So yeah, that was an instructor failure for me for sure. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah.
Actually, speaking of that, that was "Tamara's Opus," correct? When you performed at the White House? And I did wonder, watching it, how you remember all of your poetry and it does sound like you just go through it and through it and through it. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah. And what I tell my students who I teach performance is that if you can't do it in an everyday situation, you shouldn't necessarily bring it on stage. So if I can't recite a poem while I'm making breakfast, while I'm showering-- SALLY KORNBLUTH: Interesting. JOSHUA BENNETT: --jog, then I don't put it on stage.
And I think that's been a really helpful lesson, thinking about the habits of your everyday life and just bring the poem into that. And if you could do a poem while you're doing a cartwheel, you're good. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Once you learn it, is it part of your library in your mind? Or do you have to-- if you're going to perform the same poem two years later, is it still in there? JOSHUA BENNETT: That's a great question. I mean, I've been on tour pretty consistently now for 15 years.
And so there are old poems that I'll sometimes bring back into a show just to see if I've still got it. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yes. JOSHUA BENNETT: But even those I run one or two times before I get on stage just because I think the moment you're too confident in it might be the moment you lose it.
Maybe my parents put that in my head. I'll check in with them during family therapy this weekend. SALLY KORNBLUTH: I like that. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah, I still practice as much as I can. SALLY KORNBLUTH: So when you did perform "Tamara's Opus," which was a piece, as I understand it, for your deaf sister at the White House, you used sign language in a way that punctuated the words and really added to the overall impact of the piece.
And you have a deaf sister, and I understand your father is a stutterer. You've described him as a quiet man. So as a spoken word artist, how do these quiet, important people in your life actually impact your work? JOSHUA BENNETT: They've taught me that there are many ways into human language. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah, that's interesting. JOSHUA BENNETT: Both of my parents are interpreters.
They started the deaf ministry at our local church. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Wow. JOSHUA BENNETT: My father hosted a Bible study at the US Postal Service for 40 years for both deaf and hearing people.
And so I think my parents have always taught me this idea that there are many ways to express oneself. Sometimes it's sign, sometimes it's symbols on the written page, and sometimes it's your voice. And that voice can be a quiet voice, that voice can be a booming voice, but all of those voices and modes of expression are valuable. I'm writing a children's book at the moment called The World is Full of Beautiful, Quiet Things-- SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, nice. JOSHUA BENNETT: The whole premise is that there are so many quiet moments we take for granted, maybe like a handshake between friends, like the grass between our feet, the mountains.
The world is full of quietness and it deserves to be cherished. So that was a major childhood lesson for me, that quietness is OK. We can meditate in quiet, we can learn in quiet, we can read quietly, but when it's time to sing or to shout, we can let that out, too.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Wow. So you're also doing a children's book. So you're multi-talented, and I'm wondering, do you also do visual arts? Are you the artist of the book or are you collaborating? JOSHUA BENNETT: I'm working with an Illustrator, so it's coming out with Little, Brown. I'm also writing a new nonfiction book with Little, Brown which maybe we can talk about a little later.
But no. I mean, I started with drawing. So I drew and I was an actor first and occasional preacher, as you heard.
But the poetry came a little bit later. And I got away from drawing. Maybe I should get back to it, but my students here at MIT, I think, would put me to shame.
They're quite talented visual artists, I found, actually. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah. There's some amazing, amazing students here. It's really amazing. So talking about creativity, what's your opinion of AI-assisted creativity? People use-- or try to use ChatGPT to write poetry, they generate images that folks use in performance visuals, and I'm sure we'll see them in publication, illustrations, et cetera.
I'm just curious what you think of it and have you come in contact with this at MIT? Because there's so many people that are specializing in AI. JOSHUA BENNETT: Sure. I mean, I've thought quite a bit actually about AI and poetry, in part because I've had mentors reach out to me, that have had folks contact them and say, oh, now I can write a poem in your style in seconds. And so I think there is this understandable fear among some of the artist communities I'm a part of that there will be a citation without payment. That the large language models are pulling from our poems on the internet and our YouTube videos in order to create these poems and scripts and things like that.
So I understand that fear. But at the same time, I do think that there's a really radical potential, actually, for human-centered AI practice where we can think about AI as an apprentice and collaborator as opposed to as an adversary. So that's actually some of what I'm writing about now, is thinking about the right to one's own voice in the age of AI and these historical issues.
Think about someone like Bessie Smith who had songs sold by Columbia Records after her death that she wasn't paid for during her life. And so in that case, the argument made was that her voice was separate from her person, and I think in the age of AI, we need to actually think about how a voice is an inextricable part of one's personhood. So how do we negotiate that together and find ways to work with the AI to just enhance our reach and enhance our breath and bring more people in rather than thinking about it as an instrument of exclusion. SALLY KORNBLUTH: That's really interesting. And as a side comment, your remarks on what part of us do we have ownership of make me think of the recent lawsuits and settled in favor of the plaintiffs on HeLa cells.
Henrietta Lacks' cells, in other words, that are still being used that were derived, I believe, from a cervical cancer line, but they were her cells. And that seems to me no different from your voice, your ideas, et cetera. So that's really interesting. Is this the nonfiction work that you alluded to? JOSHUA BENNETT: So the nonfiction book is called The Orbit of our Dreaming, and it's about prodigious gifts and prodigies in the Black expressive tradition. So Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Phillis Wheatley from right here in Massachusetts. And I guess what I've been trying to think about is on the one hand, how these sort of Black communal institutions trained up students to think about giftedness in a very capacious way.
So promise wasn't just a promissory note. It wasn't just what you could trade in on later to get a good job, but we all had gifts that were worthy of celebration. That could manifest in you being a child preacher like Baldwin or a stellar vocalist like Aretha. Or it could just manifest in you being really good in that church play and everyone's sort of standing up and clapping for you.
So I'm thinking about that. And then the second major argument of the book is that there's a temporal constraint on prodigy that I think we should let go of. And there are artists like Bill Traylor who-- it wasn't until the '80s that he really started committing to visual art and then created 1,500 stellar works of art in a row. And so I'm trying to think about that. How do we think about prodigious gifts across the course of one's life? And maybe open it up a bit to say, well, there are prodigious gifts all around us. Maybe we should expand our version of giftedness so we can have a bigger beloved community.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah. And there are people who have an inflection point in their lives that may be gifted in one arena and suddenly completely change modalities. JOSHUA BENNETT: That's right.
And that there's this blurred line, too, I think between madness and virtuosity or impairment and brilliance. So I think, too, in the book about artists on the autism spectrum, and people like Alonso Clemons who can just see a photograph and completely create an anatomically accurate sculpture. And he's had that talent-- he's expressed it since he was a toddler and had a severe head injury.
So thinking, too, about how tragedy becomes a transcendent beauty in ways that we can track and learn from. So that's a lot of the new book. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, that's interesting. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah. SALLY KORNBLUTH: I remember, actually, when I was an undergraduate at Williams, the daughter of a faculty member, who's now an adult, she's probably close to my age, named Jesse Park who just was an exceptional artist.
She was autistic, and I'm just still very taken by her art. I've come upon it years later and it's just-- the detail and the precision that's part of the other aspects of autism-- JOSHUA BENNETT: That's right. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Is just remarkable. JOSHUA BENNETT: It means a great deal to me. My younger brother is on the autism spectrum.
So growing up, to answer this question of language once again, and really seeing Levi's gifts manifest in all these different ways. So in the beginning, it wasn't speech, it was drums and his knowledge-- SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, interesting. JOSHUA BENNETT: --memorizing the credits at the end of television shows. It just forces you to really reckon with both the opacity and breadth of the human mind, and to be patient. It changes the way you think about time.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah. That's very-- JOSHUA BENNETT: --not talking now, but maybe he will later, and maybe we don't see his strengths here, but we see it over here. We just have to look a lot closer. So that's a lot of what the book is about, what would it mean to be more patient with ourselves and with our precious children in order to create a world that has more room for all of us to thrive. SALLY KORNBLUTH: So how does that impact your teaching in the classroom and how you sort of treat your individual students? Because presumably in your area, there's obviously a lot more room for individual creativity-- JOSHUA BENNETT: That's right. SALLY KORNBLUTH: --in the classroom than there might be in-- especially at the introductory level, in an area where students really are just learning the principles learning the facts.
Later they may be able to riff variations on the theme, but I would assume from the very beginning you're seeing all sorts of manifestations of creativity in your students. JOSHUA BENNETT: oh, sure. So any student who's ever taken a college class with me has written poetry because I set aside about five to seven minutes at the beginning of each session for us to write from a shared prompt. You don't have to share it out. It's not graded. But you spend time, I don't know, away from the velocity of everyday campus life and you just have to sit with your thoughts.
And you write from the perspective of a number 2 pencil or a rain cloud or a rhinoceros. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Perfect. JOSHUA BENNETT: --you find yourself in that imaginative space. And so that's one way.
But also, I think, during office hours, I've really been taken aback by how many of my students should have confessed to being an artist and talk about this real tension that they feel between the job that will pay the bills that they're well set up for here at MIT and these often prodigious gifts-- I mean, these incredible talents that they have in other arenas and how they negotiate that. And that's been a question, I think, of my own life-- not in quite the same way, but my mother, I think, always reassured me that-- sorry, you're taking me back to this one moment. I was up for this job that I didn't get, and my mom said, don't worry about it, honey.
You can always come back home and work at the post office with us. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh my God. JOSHUA BENNETT: And I think about that a lot. In part because she pushed me so hard in school my whole life, and I thought, well mom, if I could have came back to the post office, why did I do all this? But on the other hand, it was that-- it wasn't about a dominant vision of excellence. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Right.
JOSHUA BENNETT: She just thought I liked school a lot. So she said, OK, well, we're going to send you to the best schools you get into and you're going to work really hard because that has its own merits, but it wasn't about social cachet. It wasn't about elite status. It was about her son pursuing his gifts and living a certain kind of life. And so I think with my individual students, I've tried to just share that lesson with them.
It's like, you're not reducible to your grades or the job you get after MIT. We're here to explore, I think. That's why I'm here.
This is why I'm not doing something else. SALLY KORNBLUTH: I mean, that's a really important lesson for all of our students, because obviously, getting into MIT, many of them have been climbing and climbing and climbing their whole lives. And they get here, and we want them to grow personally and intellectually and to really reap all the benefits of being an MIT student without always feeling like you've got to keep your eye on the prize. JOSHUA BENNETT: That's right. SALLY KORNBLUTH: And so I think it's an important lesson. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: One of the courses you teach here at MIT is called Reading Poetry-- Social Poetics. And I also know that you're involved in this new African Diaspora Studies program. And I'm wondering what social function you think about poetry serving for African Americans, both historically and now. JOSHUA BENNETT: Ah. You asked this question at the perfect time.
So with my colleague at Harvard, Jesse McCarthy, we added a book series for Penguin Classics called Minor Notes. And essentially what we're doing is going back in time to dig in the crates and find minor poets-- SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, very interesting. JOSHUA BENNETT: --tradition. And that's part and parcel of what I want to bring here to MIT.
I think we have such incredibly talented students, faculty, and staff here, and I'm trying to just reach back into history and say, well, what are these voices we can recover who haven't been held up? Who, besides Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks-- we know some of their names, but what about George Moses Horton, Angelina Weld Grimke? These poets we're coming back to now and finding that they had incredible work and incredible stories. I mean, George Moses Horton was enslaved. He was on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he composed these poems in his head. He never wrote down anything.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Wow. JOSHUA BENNETT: And he would just stand out there-- and we're talking about spoken word, right? He was out there proclaiming these poems every day. And they eventually got written down into collections, including a book titled Naked Genius, which I think about-- I mean, in the 19th century, Naked Genius as the title of a book written by an enslaved Black person in America. And so part of what's been on my mind here in both teaching Reading Poetry-- Social Poetics, but also thinking about the African Diaspora Studies program here that we're trying to build is how can we look to history to shape our vision of a more capacious future? SALLY KORNBLUTH: Right. JOSHUA BENNETT: What sort of moral, ethical, and practical lessons do we gain from folks like Horton, folks like Angelina Weld Grimke, a queer Black woman who was also a high school teacher and a very invested in her students and wrote a beautiful poem for Dunbar High School, which was a remarkable educational institution in Black History? That's really what I'm trying to get at every week in the classroom because my students are brilliant, but many of them have not had African-American history at any point in their careers as high school students before they get here. Many of them don't know the Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing."
Whereas for me, I knew that before I knew the "Star-Spangled Banner." SALLY KORNBLUTH: Interesting. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah.
I didn't know the "Star-Spangled Banner" until I was five or six years old because I went to this mostly Black independent school in Harlem called The Modern School. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Ah. JOSHUA BENNETT: And the woman who founded it, Mildred Johnson, her uncle and her father had co-written "Lift Every Voice and Sing" together. So that's a gift I try to share with my students whenever I can.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Well, that's OK because all the four and five-year-olds in this country mangle all the words to the song anyway, right? JOSHUA BENNETT: That's exactly right. SALLY KORNBLUTH: But no, that's really interesting. So-- I mean, you talk about-- thinking back to your poems in the shoebox, et cetera, do you have any recollection of either why you were interested in poetry or, really, as you were getting older, how you continued to develop that? Because that's not the pastime of your typical 10-year-old boy. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah, fair enough. I think I was always trying to find language to express the world that was in my head.
I think that's part of the reason people turn to poetry now. So I would turn to poetry when people get married, when people die, and when children are born. It's because there are words beyond the words we have readily available to us that we nonetheless need.
And I had that sense as a very young person, part of it was I grew up around poetry. I grew up around Motown and gospel. And these preachers who just were 50 tall to me, and they would talk in these just beautiful tones about the grass and the trees clapping their hands and the mountains, and the idea that the infinite was out there and that it spoke back to us. I mean, I was riveted by this even as a four or five-year-old.
And my dad, who was quite quiet, was a deacon. But he wasn't quiet when he would pray. And so even seeing that modal shift was very interesting. My dad would pray, people would cry. They would come up to him after church and say, Deacon Bennett, that prayer really moved me. And that took me aback.
I said, this guy barely talks. We're at home, quiet Southern man from Alabama, but there's something that comes upon him when he has to enter this other rhetorical form. And I think I just thought, well, I want something like that. If words can do that, if they can do what preachers do and what my father does and what my big sister does when she sings in the alto section, then I have to pursue that. And I think that just stuck to me for my whole life. SALLY KORNBLUTH: It's interesting, in listening to and actually watching your performance, the distinction between reading poetry on the page versus hearing it, to me, is pretty stark.
I think that the oral performance really brings poetry to life. And do you write differently when you think about your writing for performance as opposed to something that you think will primarily be on the written page? JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, for sure. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Or do you have that-- yeah. JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, I do, yeah.
I mean, I think of them as different technologies in a way theoretically. And also, just my process is so different. It feels like different parts of my brain, I leave different space for play on the page. And in performance, because in performance, you can't see it. You can't see the words. And so I often switch the words out.
So if you see a printed copy of any of my poems that I pull out in my spoken word shows, it'll look different from what you're probably going to hear on stage because I'll often improvise. SALLY KORNBLUTH: I see. JOSHUA BENNETT: I'll change two whole lines, maybe, even given the day, given what's worked earlier in the show. I try to treat it like this dynamic entity because more fun that way.
You do poetry like this for 15 years, you gotta find space, I think, to riff a little bit and to improvise. It's more fun. And on the page, you're having a private experience that you're describing. You hear it differently in your mind. And so I'm trying to bury different Easter eggs there for people to track down and follow.
And the form is different often. The words are usually a bit longer. I think I'm a bit less polysyllabic on the stage just because it's not as much fun, that it takes longer. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Right.
You've already told us all these things you're doing professionally, your service to the community, you've got your family. I hate to ask what you do in your free time because you may not have any free time, but-- JOSHUA BENNETT: It's running out quickly. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Yeah, I was going to say, do you have-- do you have hobbies our listeners should know about? JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah, sure, sure. I still love to run. I have a colleague now, Tevin, who's a professional basketball player in Italy and we hoop once a week, which has been a lot of fun.
Yeah, he just comes out to suburban Massachusetts and we play basketball for an hour and a half every week, which is a lot of fun. Honestly, catching up with my sister and just talking about what we're dreaming about at a given moment, what we're working on. We've had that practice for as long as I can remember. SALLY KORNBLUTH: That's lovely. JOSHUA BENNETT: Since-- yeah, she was translating my toddler Esperanto back when I was young.
Ever since then, we've had that practice, so that's good. Play Madden. Video games are very calming for me.
And hang out with my wife Pam and watch Love Island, too. That's a lot of fun, too. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Perfect. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah. Those are my practices outside of work. SALLY KORNBLUTH: So I hate to put you on the spot, but I'm wondering-- I'm sure that our listeners would love to hear just a few lines of something you're working on now.
JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, sure, sure. I can pull something out. Let me see. I can read you one of the poems from my most recent book of poetry, which was all about becoming a dad. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, fantastic. JOSHUA BENNETT: And how-- and he asked me what I was working on.
I was not working on anything for about-- SALLY KORNBLUTH: Sleep deprivation you're working on. JOSHUA BENNETT: You know it. Six months in a row.
And yeah, this should take about a minute, if that's OK. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Perfect. JOSHUA BENNETT: Yeah. So this is "Dad Poem-- The New Temporality." No poems, not even one, since the minute you were born. Now I live the thing that was the writing more intensely alongside you each day.
Hours blur and are measured only in feedings. Naps just quick enough to not subtract from your later dreaming. Mom and I divide the night into shifts. Dance through the fog of sleep deficits doctors say we won't feel the weight of until winter time.
So what? Our home glows like a field of rushes. Moonlight ensnared in their flaxen heads. Most early mornings with you are mine. We play the elevator game and improvise lyrics, rhyming August with raucous, florist, flawless. As I write this, you rest in a graphite, gray carrier on my chest.
Your thinking adorned with language that obeys no order my calcified mind can express. Tomorrow, I will do the thing where I make my voice sound like a trombone, and I hope you like it as much as you did today. There is no sorrow I can easily recall. I have consecrated my life. SALLY KORNBLUTH: Oh, that is wonderful. JOSHUA BENNETT: Thank you.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: That gives lovely insight into the kind of work you do and translating your emotional experience into something that the reader or audience can see. It's wonderful. JOSHUA BENNETT: Thank you.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: I've really enjoyed this conversation hugely, and I really am grateful for your time, and I'm looking forward to seeing your spoken word-- work going forward. JOSHUA BENNETT: Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate that a ton.
SALLY KORNBLUTH: Fantastic. JOSHUA BENNETT: This was awesome. SALLY KORNBLUTH: And to our audience, I'd love to hear what you think of these podcasts and what you'd like to hear next. Please send any suggestions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org or message @MIT on any social media platforms. I look forward to hearing from all of you.
And thank you all again for listening to Curiosity Unbounded. I very much hope you'll join us again. I'm Sally Kornbluth. Stay curious. [MUSIC PLAYING]