Malvern slam poet and author Justin Stuby Smith will be featured at Wednesday’s Poetry Night at Kollective Coffee + Tea, 110 Central Ave.
Today at 18:30 the next open microphone session for all poets, musicians, storytellers will begin. Smith will begin his feature set at 7:30 pm, followed by another open mic round. Admission is free and open to all ages. Masks are recommended. Everyone is welcome.
Born in Fort Smith, Smith spent most of his life near Pine Bluff, at White Hall.
“I am the middle child of three brothers,” Smith said in a press release. “I am very close to my mother. Alcoholism and my father’s suicide affected me deeply. My personal life is very complicated, but I will always be a dreamer and a romantic. Outside of Arkansas, I spent a very formative year in the southwestern Utah desert during the pandemic. I recently moved from Arkadelphia, where I was completing my studies at Henderson State University, to Malvern. I’m still in the process of handing over things, but I hope to spend the first night in my new home right after the WNP performance.”
Smith was a public relations officer at HSU. “I graduated from White Hall High School in 2006. I was in my last semester of college for a degree in media/communications when my father killed himself. My father and uncle committed suicide and I tried to do it. in a dark place, but learned to love and forgive myself. I know that one day I will get a degree. I believe in myself,” Smith said.
“I am very passionate about teaching. My hobbies include slam poetry, hiking, stand-up comedy and studying psychology. I have been writing short stories and poetry since the first grade. I started journaling regularly when I was 9 years old, and as I got older it became an emotional outlet for me. It is important for me to write. It was my inner light in the darkness,” he said.
“I am finishing my second book, (Human) Nature Walks, which should be available for purchase by February. I self-published my first book, Ink Drops, when I was 19 years old in 2007.
“I received my first literary award, the Pine Bluff Salute Center for the Arts and Science Award, when I was 13 years old in 2001. “A wandering poetic group, modern troubadours. Wherever my poetry takes me, Hot Springs Wednesday Night Poetry will always be at home,” he said.
“I would describe my poetry as a combination of slam poetry and my magazines coming to life. I love alliteration, metaphor and postmodern slang. Until I was thirty, I always felt misunderstood. Writing was a way I could share my voice. write a lot about my battles with alcoholism, suicide, bipolar disorder and super morbid obesity,” Smith said.
“I also really like to include interaction with nature in my works. My favorite poets are Robert Frost, Allen Ginsburg, Mike McGee and WNP poets Tanner Dinger and Acie “Spade” Vestal,” he said.
“This is my story of redemption. The day of my speech will be my 450th day of sobriety, and the 10th anniversary of my father’s suicide is the weekend before that. I have lost over 250 pounds in the last three years without surgery. The photo I sent to Kai for this article is very special to me. I did it the week I decided to forgive my father and myself. The day before, the weather was in the 70s, and it was snowing, it seemed that the universe was forgiving. me too. Although I’m still struggling, I’m finally at some level of peace. This year has been the most rewarding year of my life and WNP has really made me feel like I’m part of something beautiful. This place is therapy, church, family and an endless source of inspiration and admiration. Words cannot express how much I love my WNP family,” Smith said.
“Justin is a bright burning flame, a fireball of a poet who, with his precise and powerful poetry, takes the audience on visceral and imaginary journeys. Arkansas. Trust me, I know them. There is something special about Justin, a real desire to break out of everything that life has put on his shoulders, and emerge victorious and full of poetry. It’s going to be an absolutely electric night,” WNP host Kai Coggin said in the release.
“Next week, February 1st, will be the 34th anniversary of Wednesday Evening Poetry. Please plan to come out and celebrate with us!”
This week marks 1,774 consecutive Open Mic Wednesdays in downtown Hot Springs since February 1, 1989. “WNP is the longest consecutive weekly open mic in the country,” the post reads. Email the address [email protected] for more information.