Louisiana Poet Laureate John Warner Smith to Perform at Nicholls

THIBODAUX, La. — The brothers of Nicholls CROWN invite you to enjoy a night with Louisiana’s first black poet laureate, John Warner Smith.

The poetry reading event will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Mary and Al Danos Theater. Tickets are $15 for the public and $7 for students. 

“I encourage people to come out to witness the unfolding of history,” said CROWN Coordinator Farren Clark. “His ability to capture an era, an experience and an idea within a poem is unmatched. Nicholls is honored to host him.”

Smith has four published collections of poetry: “Muhammad’s Mountain,” “Spirits of the Gods,” “Soul Be A Witness” and “A Mandala of Hands.” His fifth collection, “Our Shut Eyes: New & Selected Poems on Race in America,” is forthcoming this year from MadHat Press.

His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals across the country. Among them are Ploughshares, Callaloo, North American Review and The Missouri Review. He is the winner of the 2019 Linda Hodge Bromberg Poetry Award. Much of his poetry draws upon African American history and his personal experiences of growing up and living in the South.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Gov. John Bel Edwards named Smith Louisiana’s Poet Laureate. His two-year term began on Aug. 14.

Smith served as the secretary of labor under former Gov. Kathleen Blanco. He now teaches English at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Proceeds will support the Colonels Retention of Winners Network (CROWN). The program helps freshmen, black male, non-athletes navigate the challenges of college life. The fundraiser will help CROWN students with books, supplies, tuition, resources and cultural activities.

Tickets can be purchased at the door with cash or a credit card. For more information about tickets, contact Andrea Clark at 448-4600.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or jacob.batte@nicholls.edu

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