John Warner Smith

John Warner Smith’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Callaloo, Antioch Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Quiddity, Transition, and numerous other literary journals. Smith’s second book-length collection, Soul Be A Witness (MadHat Press), was published in 2016. His debut collection, A Mandala of Hands, was published by Aldrich Press / Kelsay Books in 2015. Smith’s poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Sundress Best of the Net Anthology. A Cave Canem Fellow, Smith earned his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. He teaches English at Southern University in Baton Rouge and runs a non-profit organization dedicated to education reform in Louisiana. Smith’s poetry can be found at

            Make me somebody
            nobody wants
            to stand around.
            Make me your social problem.
            Make me feel lost, branded
            and hide whipped.

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