The Atlantic has hired Clint Smith as a staff writer, editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg announced today. Smith, who received his Ph.D. in education from Harvard University this spring, has contributed to The Atlantic over the past several years––in June, he wrote on becoming a parent in the age of Black Lives Matter, and was part of The Atlantic’s KING special issue in 2018.
Smith begins as a staff writer in September and will contribute across sections, with an emphasis on the print magazine and the Ideas section. His writing also appears in The Atlantic’s forthcoming September issue.
“I’m thrilled that our readers will soon be able to regularly find Clint’s elegant, penetrating and morally urgent writing on our site and in our pages,” Goldberg said. “Clint has emerged in recent years as a top-tier commentator, essayist, and poet, and his addition to our formidable roster of writers will enrich The Atlantic.”
Smith has spent his career as a writer and teacher. Previously, he taught high school in Prince George’s County (in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council). He currently teaches writing and literature at the D.C. Central Detention Facility. Smith is also currently an Emerson Fellow at New America, and he previously received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Art for Justice Fund, among others. He’s a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review.
His first collection of poetry, Counting Descent, won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association; he was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award; and his work was selected as the 2017 “One Book One New Orleans” book selection. His book coming next year is How the Word Is Passed, exploring how sites across the country that are connected to slavery grapple with, or fail to grapple with, their history.