An evening of spoken word poetry curated by lecturer in Creative Writing and former Stegner Fellow Hieu Minh Nguyen brings together award-winning poets and spoken word artists Danez Smith and Fatimah Asghar plus members of Stanford's Spoken Word Collective for a series of performances.
Fatimah Asghar is an artist who spans across different genres and themes. They have been featured in various outlets such as TIME, NPR, Teen Vogue, and the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. Their first book of poems If They Come For Us explored themes of orphaning, family, the violence of the 1947 Partition of South Asia, the legacy of colonization, borders, shifting identity, and violence. Their debut novel When We Were Sisters was published on October 18, 2022 from One World/ Random House. Along with Safia Elhillo they co-edited an anthology for Muslim people who are also women, trans, gender non-conforming, and/ or queer, Halal If You Hear Me, which was built around the radical idea that there are as many ways of being Muslim as there are Muslim people in the world. They are the writer and co-creator of the Emmy-nominated Brown Girls, a web series that highlights friendship among women of color that was in a development deal with HBO, and wrote and directed Got Game, a short film that follows a queer South Asian Muslim woman trying to navigate a kink party after being single, and wrote, directed, and starred in Retrieval, a lyrical short film that follows the process of a soul retrieval in the aftermath of sexual assault. They are also a writer and co-producer on Ms. Marvel on Disney +, and wrote Episode 5, Time and Again.
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. They are the author of Don't Call Us Dead (2017), a finalist for the National Book Award; [insert] Boy (2014), winner of the Lambda Literary Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and the chapbook hands on ya knees (Penmanship Books, 2013). Smith is the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, Voices of Our Nation (VONA), and elsewhere. They are a founding member of the multigenre, multicultural Dark Noise Collective. Danez's work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as BuzzFeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In poetry slam, Smith is a 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and the reigning two-time Rustbelt Individual Champion, and was on the 2014 championship team Sad Boy Supper Club. In 2014 they were the festival director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam, and were awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Smith earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where they were a First Wave Urban Arts Scholar.