Join as we welcome writer and performer Danez Smith to celebrate their latest collection of poems, HOMIE. After reading from the collection, they will be joined in conversation by Travis Alabanza.
A mighty anthem about the saving grace of friendship, Danez Smith's highly anticipated collection Homie is rooted in their search for joy and intimacy in a time where both are scarce. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family — blood and chosen — arrives with just the right food and some redemption.
Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is written for friends: for Danez’s friends, for yours.
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Homie (Chatto & Windus, 2020), Don’t Call Us Dead (Chatto & Windus, 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. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They are 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.
Travis Alabanza is a writer, theatre maker and performer who for the last four years has been creating performance, writing to archive the existence and experiences of gender non conforming people of colour. Their work has been is several publications such as the Guardian, BBC, Dazed, ID, as well as performing in venues such as Royal Exchange, Tate Britain, Harvard University and more. Noted as one of the most prominent emerging queer voices, Alabanza's visibility in artistic practice has placed them as one of the more public trans political voices in the UK, being awarded the Gay times Future Fighter Award, and listed in the Evening Standard as one of the most influential under 25 year olds in the UK. Their recent show Burgerz, which documents the experience of transphobic harassment, is toured across the country to critical acclaim. Playing major venues such as Traverse and Southbank centre, winning the Total Theatre award at Edinburgh Fringe, and being voted by Guardian readers as one of the best theatre shows of 2018.