On Tuesday, Dec. 12, poet Danez Smith performed for a packed Peirce Pub during a reading sponsored by the Black Student Union. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Smith is the author of several poetry collections and chapbooks, one of which — “[insert] Boy” — won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry.
Smith’s poetry often deals with the intersections of queer themes, social justice and matters of race and identity in America.
“Let’s make a movie called Dinosaurs in the Hood. Jurassic Park meets Friday meets The Pursuit of Happyness,” Smith said in the poem “Dinosaurs in the Hood,” performed on Tuesday. “There should be a scene where a little black boy is playing with a toy dinosaur on the bus, then looks out the window & sees the T. Rex, because there has to be a T. Rex.”
According to those attending, Smith gave a very involved, animated performance, even singing one of their poems. Afterward, they held a Q&A, where many members of the audience asked about Smith’s work and creative process.
“They had very emotional deliveries, but in a very genuine way,” Claire Oleson ’19 said.