Poet, performer Danez Smith to speak April 3

Friday, March 30, 2018

LAWRENCE — Writer Danez Smith will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Liberty Hall to feature readings from their recent book, “Don’t Call Us Dead” (2017), published by Graywolf Press.

Smith is a black, queer, Poz writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2017, Smith’s poetry collection “Don’t Call Us Dead” was a finalist for a National Book Award.

Smith is also the author of “[insert] boy” (YesYes Books, 2014) and two chapbooks: “hands on your knees” (2013, Penmanship Books) and “black movie” (2015, Button Poetry), as well as the winner of the Button Poetry Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They have also received fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and they were a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow.

Smith’s work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Blavity, “PBS NewsHour” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Smith’s delivery has also met with great acclaim. A two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, three-time Rustbelt Poetry Slam champion and a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective, Smith inspires poets across the country through their readings.

This event is supported by The Commons and the Raven Bookstore, with additional University of Kansas partners: the departments of English, American Studies, African & African-American Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies; the Langston Hughes Center; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Office of Diversity & Equity and the Hall Center for the Humanities, KU Libraries, the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and the Project on the History of Black Writing.

Tickets are required and may be obtained via thecommons.ku.edu. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale on site by the Raven Bookstore.

Anyone needing special accommodations may contact The Commons staff for assistance.