Hanif Abdurraqib returns to Liberty Hall to share his triumphant new book There's Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension. A dynamic speaker and a beloved writer, Abdurraqib is one of America's leading writers on music, pop culture, Black history, and any number of other subjects. Please join the Raven Book Store, The Commons, and Lawrence Public Library as we present an unforgettable evening with one of the best writers of our time. Books will be available for sale, and Abdurraqib will sign books after his reading.
ABOUT THE BOOK: A poignant, personal reflection on basketball, talent and allegiance, and of course, LeBron James—from the author of the National Book Award finalist A Little Devil in America. While Hanif Abdurraqib is an acclaimed author, a gifted poet, and one of our culture’s most insightful critics, he is most of all, at heart, an Ohioan. Growing up in Columbus in the 1990s, Abdurraqib witnessed a golden era of basketball, one in which legends like LeBron were forged, and countless others weren’t. His lifelong love of the game leads Abdurraqib into a lyrical, historical, and emotionally rich exploration of what it means to make it, who we think deserves success, the tensions between excellence and expectation, and the very notion of role models, all of which he expertly weaves together with memoir. “Here is where I would like to tell you about the form on my father’s jumpshot,” Abdurraqib writes. “The truth, though, is that I saw my father shoot a basketball only one time.” There’s Always This Year is a classic Abdurraqib triumph, brimming with joy, pain, solidarity, comfort, outrage, and hope. It’s about basketball in the way They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us is about music and A Little Devil in America is about history—no matter the subject, Abdurraqib’s exquisite writing is always poetry, always profound, and always a clarion call to radically reimagine how we think about our culture, our country, and ourselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is also a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant. Abdurraqib’s recent book, A Little Devil in America, was the winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Gordon Burns Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award. His first full-length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us was named a book of the year by NPR, Esquire, BuzzFeed, O: The Oprah Magazine, Pitchfork, and Chicago Tribune, among others. Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award and Kirkus Prize finalist and was long-listed for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune for Your Disaster, won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He is a graduate of Beechcroft High School.