CLINT SMITH

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Clint Smith is a writer, teacher, and doctoral candidate in Education at Harvard University with a concentration in Culture, Institutions, and Society. He is a recipient of the fellowships from the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the National Science Foundation with research interests that include mass incarceration, the sociology of race & racism, and the history of U.S. inequality. Previously, he taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He has taught creative writing in state prisons throughout the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. 

Clint is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. He was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list as well as Ebony Magazine's 2017 Power 100 list. His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America, collectively have been viewed more than 6 million times. He is a weekly contributor to the podcast Pod Save the People and is co-host of the podcast Justice in America.

His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, was published by Write Bloody Publishing in 2016. It won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award, and was selected as the 2017 'One Book One New Orleans' book selection. Clint earned a BA in English from Davidson College and is an alumnus of the New Orleans Public School System. He lives greater Washington D.C. with his wife and son.

So many of these poems just blow me away. Incredibly beautiful and powerful.
— Michelle Alexander
Counting Descent is a tightly-woven collection of poems whose pages act like an invitation. The invitation is intimate and generous and also a challenge; are you up to asking what is blackness? What is black joy? How is black life loved and lived? To whom do we look to for answers? This invitation is not to a narrow street, or a shallow lake, but to a vast exploration of life. And you’re invited.
— Elizabeth Acevedo
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FORBES

History Considered with Clint Smith

WBUR

Through Poetry And TED Talks, Clint Smith Probes Racism In America

WRITING

THE ATLANTIC

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAS BAILED OUT BY A MILLIONAIRE: INCARCERATED PEOPLE TODAY AREN’T SO LUCKY

THE NEW REPUBLIC

WAKE UP, MR. WEST!: HOW KANYE’S IGNORANT COMMENTS FORTIFY THE MOST PERNICIOUS LIES OF WHITE SUPREMACY

THE ATLANTIC

WORLD CUP 2018: THE AFRICAN TEAM DEPARTS EARLY