John Warner Smith earned his MFA at the University of New Orleans. He has published four collections of poetry, most recently Muhammad’s Mountain (Lavender Ink, 2018). His fifth collection will be published in 2020 by MadHat Press. A Cave Canem fellow, he is the winner of the 2019 Linda Hodge Bromberg Poetry Award. Smith has directed Education’s Next Horizon, a statewide policy advocacy organization that seeks to improve outcomes in Louisiana public schools, and teaches English at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served as the poet laureate of Louisiana from 2019-2021.