Clint Smith, Poetry

Clint Smith, poetry

Clint Smith is a 23 year-old poet, educator, and activist from New Orleans, LA. He is a 2010 graduate of Davidson College where he majored in English and founded FreeWord, Davidson’s first and only slam poetry team. In 2010, he led the team to a top ten finish at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, the premier national competition for college students. Upon graduating from Davidson, Clint lived in Soweto, South Africa working to educate youth in the township on HIV/AIDS by engaging them in sport and spoken word.

He currently teaches high school English in Washington D.C. as a Teach For America corps member. He is the 2012 Graffiti DC Grand Slam Champion and is a member of the 2012 Beltway Poetry Team, representing DC at the National Poetry Slam. Additionally, Clint has served as a cultural ambassador to Swaziland on behalf of the U.S. State Department, conducting poetry workshops with youth throughout the country focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and self-empowerment.

He has performed his work at slams, universities, workshops, and poetry festivals throughout the United States and across Southern Africa, winning multiple competitions and having his work published in several literary journals. 

Clint believes that slam poetry presents and important platform to discuss a variety of important issues in our society. “While spoken word certainly doesn’t always have to be socially or politically oriented,” he says “it does provide a unique opportunity to tell the stories of those who are not given a voice. It can also give insight into the human experience by contextualizing each of our lives relative to those around us. It’s a dynamic artform that challenges or perceptions and continuously allows us to think outside of ourselves. I’m grateful to be a part of something that has the potential to be a transformative in how people perceive the world around them.”

Aside from poetry, Clint loves his mom, soccer, scrabble, libraries, playing Xbox late at night with his roommates, documentaries, being chased by his little cousins, pretending he knows how to play the piano, and the feeling you have right after you eat way too many barbeque ribs.

He can be reached at