"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'
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Poet Danez Smith. (Tabia Yapp)
Danez Smith, poet; author of "Homie"