Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities has selected John Warner Smith as Louisiana’s newest Poet Laureate.
A native of Morgan City, Smith began writing poetry while simultaneously building a successful career as a public administrator and a banker. He now teaches English at Southern University and A&M College, in addition to regularly publishing new works of poetry. Since 2007, he has directed Education’s Next Horizon, a non-profit policy advocacy organization dedicated to improving public education in Louisiana.
Smith is a fellow of the prestigious Cave Canem program and has four published collections of poetry: Muhammad’s Mountain (Lavender Ink, 2018), Spirits of the Gods (UL Press, 2017), Soul Be A Witness (MadHat Press, 2016), and A Mandala of Hands (Kelsay Books – Aldrich Press, 2015). His fifth collection, Our Shut Eyes, is forthcoming from MadHat Press.
He will serve as poet laureate for two years. Smith is available for public readings, workshops, and lectures, at venues across Louisiana during his tenure. Contact Christopher Robert at (504) 620-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.