I met with writer and teacher Clint Smith during his visit to Baltimore a few weeks before the election to talk about his new book of poetry, "Counting Descent."
It's a passionate collection of personal poems in a first-person mode that covers a wide range of topics, from activism and love to the black experience in America -- and Clint’s killer jump shot. The book offers a unique twirl of hope, humor, knowledge and darkness – in a language that can excite hardcore poetry lovers while engaging students and first-time poetry readers. As Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow," wrote, "So many of these poems just blow me away. Incredibly beautiful and powerful.”
Salon caught up with Smith after his Baltimore lecture to talk about the inspiration behind his work, who he’s trying to reach and the toxic idea of one black voice having the luxury to represent millions of black people.