Clint Smith


Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m a teacher, writer, and doctoral student at Harvard University. My research currently centers on prison education programs and how those who are incarcerated make meaning of the larger purpose of education in their lives. Right now many of my poems and essays are exploring the nature of black adolescence in a socio-political moment where the manifestations of racism are becoming increasingly more pernicious and subtle. I’m also interrogating the idea of resistance, and exploring the various ways that black people have resisted constant dehumanization over the course of this country’s history. As a teacher, I’m interested in critical pedagogy and teaching out of a tradition of scholars who believed in education as an emancipatory endeavor. I’m constantly asking how, as an educator, I can push my students to examine the world beyond their own reality, and furthermore, how to unlearn so much of what they have been taught about what this world is supposed to be.

I’m also a mama’s boy, a lover of The West Wing, a part-time/aspiring/really bad political cartoonist. I have an affinity for cinnamon rolls at room temperature, small children in costumes doing the nae nae, and I was born and raised in New Orleans.

What forms of media have influenced you the most?

Books have been, and continue to be, my greatest resource. I wake up everyday deeply excited by the idea that there is always more to learn, and even more interested in how to put that knowledge to good use.

What hardware / software do you use?

The Notes application on my iPhone, Microsoft Word, and good old pen and paper.

What would be your dream creative setup?

I actually find myself doing both my best thinking and writing on walks where I have no particular destination in mind. If I find myself experiencing writer’s block, I simply go outside and start walking. I think the act of physical movement in conjunction with taking my headphones out and listening to the world, forces me to be with my thoughts and ultimately catalyzes my best ideas.

Co-Founder at Constructed By. Student at University of Wisconsin - Madison studying Business with a focus in Marketing and Accounting.