Danez Smith is an American poet.
- For me, it’s about writing a good poem. The questions of page and performance come later. My first allegiance is with what the poem wants to be, in terms of how it looks. The question of performance is something I ask myself at a later date once the poem is finished, when I ask myself, ‘can I read this to an audience one time through and be able to make them feel something?’ Some poems are just easier to translate to a space of performance than others…
- On choosing which poems are ideal for performances in “INTERVIEW WITH DANEZ SMITH” in The White Review (June 2018)
- Naming is important. In many black cultures you learn the importance of giving the right name or not naming things…
- On the importance of naming in “INTERVIEW WITH DANEZ SMITH” in The White Review (June 2018)
- Every poem is political. In poems not obviously political, the writer is trying to avoid something…
- On the interrelationship of poems and politics in “‘Every poem is political’: Danez Smith, the YouTube star shaking up poetry” in The Guardian (2018 Jan 28)
- Poems have helped me figure out a lot about queer sexuality – it is a big hill to climb. The ability to transform myself in poetry helps me imagine myself differently in the real world.
- On how poetry has given him insight into his sexuality in “‘Every poem is political’: Danez Smith, the YouTube star shaking up poetry” in The Guardian (2018 Jan 28)