Madison authors, topics, book events and publishers
Stu Levitan welcomes the award-winning Black, Queer and Poz poet and performer Danez Smith, who will be at the Central Library tonight at 7 pm, in support of their brand new collection Homie, poems about friendship and loss and violence and love, it’s a presentation by our friends at the Wisconsin Book Festival.
Now as long-time listeners know, it is Madison BookBeat policy to regard students at the UW as Madisonians, so Danez hits two of the three criteria.
Because before Nezzy was a finalist for the National Book Award and the youngest person ever to win the Forward Prize for Best Collection for Don’t Call Us Dead, before the Lambda Literary Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for [insert]boy, before the video of “Dear White America” got 387,000 views, thank you very much, before the fellowships from the McKnight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, before the individual and team slam championships, before the Poetry Foundation podcast VS with Franny Choi, before they were on WORT’s A Public Affair with Ali Muldrow last January, it’s in the archives, check it out, before all that — Danez Smith was in the first cohort of the ground-breaking First Wave program in the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives and a member of the University of Wisconsin Class of 2012, On Wisconsin.
Their third collection of poems, Homie, is now out from Graywolf press, and receiving rapturous reviews, NYT calling it a work of ‘startling originality and ambition.” which as I said is what brings them back to town for a Wisconsin Book Festival event at the Central Library, 201 West Mifflin St. tonight at 7, it is a special reading and conversation with Sofia Snow, the director of the aforementioned Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives and the First Wave Scholarship Program. It is a real pleasure to welcome Danez Smith to Madison BookBeat.