Lewis Center Past Fellows

Danez Smith

Danez Smith headshot

Photo courtesy Danez Smith


Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. Smith is the author of Homie (Graywolf Press, 2020), Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Smith's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, the 2020 Pushcart Prize Anthology, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.


Books of the Times: ‘Homie,’ a Book of Poems That Produces Shocking New Vibrations | The New York Times, Jan. 7, 2020

“Danez Smith: ‘White people can learn from it, but that’s not who I’m writing for’” | The Guardian, Feb. 8, 2020

“Art in the Time of COVID: Princeton University Arts Fellows Will Davis and Danez Smith” | Discover Jersey Arts Culture Vultures, May 11, 2020

Homies: Poems makes 2021 PEN America Literary Awards longlist | PEN America, Dec. 22, 2020

Read Danez Smith’s review of The Prophets, a novel by Robert Jones Jr., for NYT | The New York Times Book Review, January 6, 2021

Danez Smith Named 2021 USA Fellow in Writing | United States Artists, February 2021



“I like to give poetry collections as gifts around this time, and this year, I’m wrapping up copies of Danez Smith’s Homie. Smith is one of the most interesting poets writing today, and this book — a paean to friendship, “that first & cleanest love”— is full of new forms and explosive, dismantling joy. Who couldn’t use a little of that? ”
— Parul Sehgal, New York Times book critic, Dec. 2020