photo by William Frederking, 2023 / logo by Bria Royal, 2019

Brief bio:

Benji Hart is a Chicago-based author, artist, and educator whose work centers Black radicalism, queer liberation, and prison abolition. Their words have appeared in numerous anthologies, and been published at Time, Teen Vogue, The Advocate, and elsewhere. They have led popular education and arts-based workshops for organizations internationally, including the American Repertory Theater, Young Chicago Authors, and Project NIA. They have read at the Poetry Foundation, Women & Children First, the Guild Literary Complex, and their performances have been featured at La Goyco, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Den Frie. They have held fellowships with Yaddo, Trillium Arts, MacDowell, and are a 2023 Lab Artist with Chicago Dancemakers Forum.


Full bio:

Benji Hart is a Massachusetts-born, Chicago-based author, artist, and educator whose work centers Black radicalism, queer liberation, and prison abolition. Their words have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief (AK Press), And the Category Is…: Inside New York’s Vogue, House, & Ballroom Community (Beacon Press), and Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: Second Edition (Oxford University Press). Their commentary has been published at Time, Teen Vogue, The Advocate, The Funambulist, Autostraddle, and In These Times.

They have led popular education and arts-based workshops for organizations internationally, and been a guest lecturer at the American Repertory Theater, Smith College, Northwestern University, Phillips Academy Andover, Brown University, and the New School. They have facilitated creative and professional development for groups like Law For Black Lives, Young Chicago Authors, Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, Forward Together, Dissenters, and Liberation Library. They have been interviewed by WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago, How to Survive the End of the World, and have read at the Poetry Foundation, Women & Children First, and the Guild Literary Complex.

Their solo performance Dancer As Insurgent, which examines voguing as a practice of Black queer resistance, was featured at the DuSable Black History Museum, Chicago (2022); Den Frie, Copenhagen (2021); and Museo del Chopo, Mexico City (2020). Their current project World After This One, exploring how Black art forms imagine liberation through the materials of empire, has been shown at La Goyco, Santurce (2022); the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2021); and BRIC, New York (2018). Alongside Ivelisse Díaz and Edrimael Delgado Reyes, they co-created Navigating Blackness/Navegando lo Negro, an exchange between Black diaspora artists in Chicago and Puerto Rico.

They have held fellowships with Yaddo, Trillium Arts, MacDowell, and the Rauschenberg Foundation. They are a 2023 Lab Artist with Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and a 3Arts awardee in the Teaching Arts.