Clint Smith

reads from

Counting Descent

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
28
Friday
October 28, 2016
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and GrubStreet welcome National Poetry Slam champion and Harvard doctoral candidate CLINT SMITH for a discussion of his debut poetry collection, Counting Descent.

About Counting Descent

Counting Descent is a coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. Smith explores the cognitive dissonance that results from belonging to a community that unapologetically celebrates black humanity while living in a world that often renders blackness a caricature of fear. His poems move fluidly across personal and political histories, all the while reflecting on the social construction of our lived experiences. Smith brings the reader on a powerful journey forcing us to reflect on all that we learn growing up, and all that we seek to unlearn moving forward.

Praise

"So many of these poems just blow me away. Incredibly beautiful and powerful." —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

"In Counting Descent, Clint Smith reflects 'even the universe is telling us/ that we can never get too far// from the place that created us.' Smith weaves histories, from collective to personal, to make indelible archetypes of those places that have created us all. These poems shimmer with revelatory intensity, approaching us from all sides to immerse us in the America that America so often forgets. The broad sweep of Smith’s vision delivers a sudden awareness: In this poet's hands, we sense, like Rilke, there is no place that does not see you." —Gregory Pardlo, author of Digest

"Counting Descent is a tightly-woven collection of poems whose pages act like an invitation to New Orleans, to the spades' table, to mom’s kitchen, to the kiss on a woman’s wrist, to conversations with hydrants and cicadas. The invitation is intimate and generous and also a challenge; are you up to asking what is blackness? What is black joy? How is black life loved and lived? To whom do we—this human We—look to for answers? This invitation is not to a narrow street, or a shallow lake, but to a vast exploration of life. And death. In a voice that has the echoes of Baldwin, but that also declares itself a singular voice, Smith extends: 'Maybe there's a place where everyone is both in love with and running from their own skin. Maybe that place is here.' And you’re invited." —Elizabeth Acevedo, author of Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths

Clint Smith
Clint Smith

Clint Smith

Clint Smith is a writer, teacher, and doctoral candidate in Education at Harvard University. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship with research interests that include mass incarceration, the sociology of race & racism, and the history of U.S. inequality. His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. He lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and son.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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FAQ:

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Co-Sponsored by GrubStreet

GrubStreet is one of the nation's leading creative writing centers, offering 500+ classes a year in all genres, for writers of all levels. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant. To learn more or find a class, visit grubstreet.org.

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
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