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Danez Smith to be featured during 2016-17 Campus Read

June 17, 2016

Poet Danez Smith

Up-and-coming poet Danez Smith will be the featured artist for the 2016-17 Finlandia University Campus Read.

“Smith is one of the most visionary poets in America, and one of those most on fire for social justice.  It is so exciting to have them perform on our campus,” said Dr. Carolyn Dekker, assistant professor of English at Finlandia. “My students have been reading, watching and listening to Danez’s poetry for a year now, and this visit will bring that important work off the page and into the campus life.”

Smith is expected to be on campus on September 30 for a reading and book signing. Their books, [insert] boy and black movie, will be made available on campus at North Wind Books and Maki Library. Additional information will be posted on finlandia.edu/campusread in August.

September 7 Update: This event is scheduled for Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center. Also, Smith’s books Black Movie and Insert Boy are both available at North Wind Books on Finlandia’s campus. 

About Danez Smith

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), and two chapbooks, hands on ya knees and black movie. Their second collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017.

Danez was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is pursuing an MFA at the University of Michigan. They are the winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Button Poetry Prize and a 2014 Ruth Lilly – Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, a Cave Canem and VONA alum, and a recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. Their work has been published & featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Ploughshares. Danez is also a tremendous live performer, a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, placing second in 2014.

Danez bridges the poetics of the stage to that of the page and transcends arbitrary boundaries to present work that is gripping, dismantling of oppression constructs, and striking on the human heart. Often centered around intersections of race, class, sexuality, faith, and social justice, Danez uses rhythm, fierce raw power, and image to re-imagine the world as they take it apart in their work.

Information and images on Danez Smith courtesy of danezsmithpoet.com and the Poetry Foundation.

About Campus Read at Finlandia University

Campus Read is an annual event at Finlandia University where the entire campus community comes together to explore literature around a theme, book or author. Campus Read is part of the reason Finlandia was recognized as one of 30 Great Small Colleges for Book Lovers by aboutgreatbooks.com in 2016.

Events will be scheduled throughout the year including speaker events, round-table discussions, film screenings or book signings. For more information on Campus Read, including a full schedule of events from the 2015-16 Campus Read, visit finlandia.edu/campusread.


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