Nate Marshall and Clint Smith for FINNA

Poetry fans rejoice! We have a stellar evening of readings, conversation, and celebration planned with Nate Marshall and Clint Smith for the recent release of Finna. This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice. Donations will go to Black Lives Matter DC. You can order the authors' books below and there will also be an option to buy the books during the event.


Sharp, lyrical poems celebrating the Black vernacular—its influence on pop culture, its necessity for familial survival, its rite in storytelling and in creating the safety found only within its intimacy

Definition of Finna, created by the author: finna/ˈfinə/ contraction:

(1) going to; intending to. [rooted in African American Vernacular English.]
(2) eye dialect spelling of “fixing to.”
(3) Black possibility; Black futurity; Blackness as tomorrow.

These poems consider the brevity and disposability of Black lives and other oppressed people in our current era of emboldened white supremacy, and the use of the Black vernacular in America’s vast reserve of racial and gendered epithets. Finna explores the erasure of peoples in the American narrative; asks how gendered language can provoke violence; and finally, how the Black vernacular, expands our notions of possibility, giving us a new language of hope:

nothing about our people is romantic

& it shouldn’t be. our people deserve

poetry without meter. we deserve our

own jagged rhythm & our own uneven

walk towards sun. you make happening happen.

we happen to love. this is our greatest




Nate Marshall is an award-winning writer, rapper, educator, and editor. He is the author and editor of numerous works including Wild Hundreds and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Nate is a member of The Dark Noise Collective and co-directs Crescendo Literary. He is an assistant professor of English at Colorado College. He is from the South Side of Chicago.


Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic and author of the poetry collection, Counting Descent, which won the award for best poetry collection from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He is also the author of the forthcoming nonfiction book How the Word Is Passed (Little, Brown, 2021). His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review and elsewhere. Clint received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and a Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University.

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 8:00pm
Event address: 
827 Upshur Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
Finna: Poems By Nate Marshall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593132456
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: One World - August 11th, 2020

Counting Descent By Clint Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938912658
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Write Bloody Publishing - September 15th, 2016