• Danez Smith (above, left) and Kwame Dawes (above, right) will participate in two FREE events on April 15.

  • Now in its 21st year, the DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts hosts a variety of prominent authors throughout the academic year.

  • All DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts events are free and open to the public.

The DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts is pleased to welcome award-winning poets and writers Danez Smith and Kwame Dawes to Greater Des Moines, where they will read from their work during two FREE events on Mon., April 15.

Now in its 21st year, the DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts spotlights a variety of local, regional and nationally known authors on a regular basis throughout the year. All events are free and open to the public.

Smith and Dawes will both participate in the following DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts events:

  • Mon., April 15, 12:15 p.m., DMACC Ankeny Campus, 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny (Bldg. 2, Room 25B)

  • Mon., April 15, 6:30 p.m., Beaverdale Books, 2629 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines

Each event will last approximately one hour and include a brief Q&A with the authors.

About the authors: Danez Smith & Kwame Dawes

Danez Smith, a poet, writer and performer, is the author of three collections, including “Homie" and “Don't Call Us Dead." They have won the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and have been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Poetry, the National Book Critic Circle Award and the National Book Award.

Smith's poetry and prose has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, Best American Poetry, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and a former co-host of the Webby nominated podcast VS (Versus). They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Princeton, United States Artists, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem and the National Endowment for the Arts. Smith has been featured as part of Forbes' Annual 30 Under 30 List and is the winner of a Pushcart Prize. They live in Minneapolis near their people.

Kwame Dawes is the author of 20 books of poetry and numerous other books of fiction, criticism and essays. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and teaches at the University of Nebraska and the Pacific MFA Program. He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. Dawes is also a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dawes is the winner of the prestigious Windham/Campbell Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. A winner of a Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry Anthologies, Dawes was awarded the Order of Distinction Commander class by the Government of Jamaica.

Select writings by Danez Smith:

Select writings by Kwame Dawes:

For more information about the DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts, visit cla.dmacc.edu or contact Marc Dickinson, DMACC English Professor and Coordinator of the DMACC Celebration of Literary Arts, at (515) 964-6221 or madickinson@dmacc.edu