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Louisiana Poet Laureate and McNeese Alum John Warner Smith to Give Reading

September 26, 2019 | McNeese Public Relations
John Warner Smith

Louisiana poet laureate and McNeese State University alumnus John Warner Smith will give a free poetry reading at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in Stokes Auditorium of Hardtner Hall at McNeese.

Smith is the author of “Muhammad’s Mountain” (2018), “Spirits of the Gods” (2017), “Soul Be a Witness” (2016) and “A Mandala of Hands” (2015). His fifth collection, “Our Shut Eyes: New & Selected Poems on Race in America,” will be published in 2019.  

A Louisiana native, Smith received his bachelor’s degrees in accounting and psychology from McNeese, his Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Antioch Review, North American Review and Missouri Review and he is the winner of the 2019 Linda Hodge Bromberg Poetry Award. He was named the poet laureate of Louisiana in 2019 and is the recipient of the McNeese Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Currently, Smith teaches English at Southern University in Baton Rouge and is the director of Education’s Next Horizon, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to reforming public education in Louisiana.

Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at