Award-winning writer and scholar Clint Smith to speak at ASU's Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the annual Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series with Clint Smith, award-winning writer, poet, scholar and staff writer at The Atlantic.

The lecture, “A Conversation with Clint Smith,” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, on ASU’s Tempe campus in Armstrong Hall. The lecture will be the signature event of The College’s inaugural Humanities Week — a collection of special events taking place from Oct. 18–22 to highlight the ways in which students and faculty are exploring the human adventure across time, culture and place.

Smith is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America,” which was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller, and the poetry collection “Counting Descent,” which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

He has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem and the National Science Foundation. His essays, poems and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, the Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere.

Smith is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. His two TED Talks, "The Danger of Silence" and "How to Raise a Black Son in America," collectively have been viewed more than 9 million times.

Previously, Smith taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. He is also the host of the YouTube series "Crash Course Black American History."

Smith received his bachelor’s degree in English from Davidson College and his PhD in education from Harvard University. Born and raised in New Orleans, he currently lives in Maryland with his wife and their two children.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in several lots and parking garages near the venue. Face coverings are required for the duration of this event. Due to room capacity limitations, seating will be limited and RSVPs are required.

The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings nationally known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy to ASU. This annual free public lecture is funded with a gift from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall.

Emily Balli
eballi@asu.edu