"If there is one tool people can cull from my poems, it’s that shame is one of the best unburdenings you can do," says poet Danez Smith. A black, queer, nonbinary author and performer, Smith first captured the public's attention in 2014 with the viral video of their poem "Dear White America" while part of the Oakland-based youth performance ensemble Young Gifted and Black. Smith's newest work, "Homie," tackles themes of friendship, queerness and blackness with fierce vulnerability. We'll talk to Smith, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, about their poetry, their time in the Bay Area and freeing themselves of shame.
Poet Danez Smith is Unapologetically Queer and Black in New Book 'Homie'
Poet Danez Smith. (Tabia Yapp)
Danez Smith, poet; author of "Homie"