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Join us for an in-person & virtual
Live Talks Los Angeles event:
Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 6pm PT/9pm ET
This event was taped with an audience on April 13, 2023.
Clint Smith
in conversation with Safia Elhillo

discussing his books,
Above Ground, a poetry collection;
How the Word Is Passed

PURCHASE TICKETS FOR April 19 (click here)
$40 Virtual Admission ticket + signed copy of Above Ground 
(books ship one week after event, US orders only
*virtual event available on video-on-demand for five days, thru April 26) 


Clint Smith is that rare writer who has mastered both poetry and prose. Come hear this staff writer for The Atlantic talk about two of his books: the instant best-seller, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, and his latest, Above Ground, in which he traverses the vast emotional terrain of new parenthood..
In all his work, Smith, a native of New Orleans, interrogates the ways our lives are shaped by both personal lineages and historical institutions. Through his reflections and insights, he offers new understanding of the role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.
Clint Smith is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism. His first poetry collection, Counting Descent, was awarded the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. An award-winning English teacher, Smith hosted the YouTube series, Crash Course Black American History. Smith’s writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, and The Paris Review. He’s a graduate of Davidson College and received his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University.
“With inextinguishable generosity and abundant wisdom, (Smith) shows us the linkages that both bind and divide us—as family, as community, as nation, as world: ‘The river that gives us water to drink is the same one that might wash us away.’”―Monica Youn, author of Blackacre
Watch the video of Clint Smith in conversation with Ibram X. Kendi at Live Talks Los Angeles from 2021.
Safia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of Washington, DC. She is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), Girls That Never Die (One World/Random House, 2022), and the novel in verse Home Is Not a Country (Make Me a World/Random House, 2021). With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019).