Photo by meddygarnet

Toy dinosaur photo by meddygarnet (CC BY 2.0)

One of the joys of the AWP conference is the unexpected session, the one that we find not because we circled it in our program schedule the night before in our hotel room but because we were in the right place at the right time, standing outside an open door, waiting for something else when the siren song of a poem or a story or a conversation pulls us into the room.

One of those moments for me was hearing Danez Smith perform his poem “Dinosaurs in the Hood.” His intensity and the rhythm of his words took over the packed room so that we were lifted by his energy to stand and applaud almost before he had delivered the final line.

I tried to describe the poem and the experience of hearing it to my husband, but my own words failed me. The best I can do is to share this video of Smith’s performing “Dinosaurs in the Hood” in February at a San Francisco poetry slam (read the poem here).

Enjoy.