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Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Olivia Gatwood is a poet, performer, and educator. A Brave New Voices, Women of the World, and National Poetry Slam finalist, her poetry has been featured on HBO, Huffington Post, MTV, VH1, and BBC. Her latest book, New American Best Friend, reflects her experiences growing up in both New Mexico and Trinidad, navigating girlhood, relationships, class, and sexuality. Olivia is also a Title IX Compliant educator in sexual assault prevention and recovery and has performed internationally at over 200 schools and universities.
Ever since discovering Olivia’s poetry on Youtube at 16, her words have become a constant in my life. They’ve made their way into sleepovers, my irrational horror at the doctor’s office, and early-morning bus rides. They’ve helped me in times of uncertainty, encouraging me to take pride in the things I was once ashamed of. Olivia was kind enough to speak with me about her work and experience as a poet, Title IX educator, and her upcoming book, set to release with The Dial Press/Random House in 2019.

More… “Ode to Olivia”

Camille DiBenedetto is a staff writer for The Smart Set and an English major at Drexel University. In her free time, you can find her watching romantic comedies, listening to slam poetry, or rereading The Summer I Turned Pretty for the 27th time.

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The thingies can make the difference between a wonderful poem and one that’s not quite there. We want to write books that expand our view of the world, that dare to examine the relation between thought and action, that want to explore new worlds. How are thingies relevant to these goals?

You may as well ask how fingers are relevant to hands.

And perhaps you now point out that your brain has something to do with moving your fingers.

And now you point out that your heart has something to do with what your brain decides.

More… “Always Sweat the Small Stuff”

Kelly Cherry‘s new poetry book is Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer. Her book of flash fiction titled Temporium is now available.

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