‘I was scared in a way that didn’t ask me to run from it, but asked me to stand in it’ – acclaimed poet Danez Smith on writing, mortality, and poetry as a medium for exploring the self

We are so excited to have finally had the opportunity to speak with award-winning poet and Minnesota native Danez Smith. Smith, who uses the pronouns they/them/their, spoke with host Lissa Jones about their genesis as a poet (they came to poetry through performance at Central High School in Saint Paul and credits renowned educator Jan …

‘So much of my life has been decided by people who didn’t want to imagine that I would be there’ – poet Julian Randall

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you," writes Maya Angelou in her seminal work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In his award-winning debut collection, Refuse (emphasis on the first syllable, but used for its homographic ambiguity), the poet Julian Randall is beginning to tell the stories of his life, his …