Claire Smith is a working poet, author and editor. She was born and raised in Ellicott City, MD, an expansive, diverse suburb outside of Baltimore City, where she has returned after graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an Emphasis in Writing in 2018. Moving to Chicago in 2014 was a life-altering decision meant to shake things up. Finding comfort in drastic change, Smith was posited into a community where being ‘weird’ was normal. Thriving with other artists, of all different disciplines, Smith was able to broaden her horizons, learn outside of the box and become critical of structures that had been built to get in her way. Understanding how she thrives as an individual, cast out and integrated, has greatly influenced her writing as it grapples with understanding who you are and how you are perceived by those around you. Her work has widely expanded into the likes of the intersections of her identity—female, queer, African American and Dutch. She looks to Audre Lorde, Wangechi Mutu, Ntozake Shange, Ayn Rand and Gwendolyn Brooks for their immaculate construction of theme, story, and self.
She is currently in the finishing stages of her latest project, Pussyfoot, the epic poem she considers to withhold a culmination of all she has learned within the last four years as a poet and as a person.