“Lo! what a vivid picture here,
Of sin and purity,
Here where the rivers join their
Floods and journey to the sea.”
—“Where the Rivers Meet”
Writer, philanthropist, and statesman Alexander Lawrence Posey (1873-1908) was one of the first indigenous Americans to gain national acclaim in letters. His series of editorials, later collected as the Fus Fixico Letters, commented satirically and pointedly on contemporary social issues of indigenous people in America at the turn of the century. Posey also founded the first indigenous daily newspaper, the Eufala Indian Journal, and published many poems under the pen name Chinnubie Harjo before his untimely death.
Today, New Plains Student Publishing celebrates his legacy and spirit with the Alexander Lawrence Posey Speaker Series. We follow in his footsteps by featuring prose, poetry, and music by underrepresented voices. We want to showcase identities too frequently “othered” in mainstream discourse, to bring their rivers to the flood. We’re here for convergence: the cross-stitch of heteroglossia, the fight of double consciousness, the love that bridges mountains.
The stage is waiting. Tell your story.
Danez Smith is a Black, queer, poz writer, and performer from St. Paul, MN.
Danez is the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017). Danez is also the author of two chapbooks, hands on your knees (2013, Penmanship Books) and black movie (2015, Button Poetry), winner of the Button Poetry Prize. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Danez’s work has been featured widely, including on Buzzfeed, Blavity, PBS NewsHour, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. They are a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, 3-time Rustbelt Poetry Slam Champion, and a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective.