We’re proud to announce that poet and author Suzi Q. Smith, is taking over Untitled Final Fridays on April 27! Suzi is a Denver icon and devoted mother, and a long-time collaborator with the Denver Art Museum. In addition to working as a teaching artist in Denver, Suzi Q. has toured the United States for over a decade.
Among the most well-known performing poets in the country, she has shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, Talib Kweli, the late Gil Scott Heron, and many more over the years. Her work has appeared in Union Station Magazine, Suspect Press, Muzzle Magazine, Malpais Review, Peralta Press, and more, and her collection of poems, Thirteen Descansos, is available from Penmanship Books. She currently serves as the executive director of Poetry Slam, Inc.
We sat down with Suzi to get to know her better, and talk about art, creativity, and Denver.
– Suzi Q. Smith
A museum is a place to share, preserve, and discuss art, history, people, and objects, and their stories. It’s a place to create community, to create art, to learn together and share what we’ve learned, to discuss perspectives and build relationships.
DAM: So Suzi….what do you do, and why do you do it?
Suzi Q. Smith: I write and perform poetry, mostly as a means to understand myself and the world I live in. My work is born from both the voids and the excesses I experience, sometimes needing to say the unsaid things and sometimes needing to make art from a thought or feeling I can no longer contain.
DAM: What’s your favorite place in Denver?
SQM: My favorite place in Denver is my grandmother’s house in Park Hill, where I grew up. With all of the changes Denver has undergone during my lifetime, my grandmother’s house still feels like home.
DAM: What’s a movie that you can quote every line?
SQS: The Princess Bride.
DAM: How would you define a creative?
SQS: I would define a creative as a person who lives with an urgent need to create art, someone who is driven to share a unique perspective through their creative medium(s).
DAM: If you could express yourself in any other medium, what would it be?
SQS: I enjoy tangible materials, I occasionally make clothes and sew and paint (though I don’t do any of these things particularly well), drawing inspiration from the available materials, so I would most likely be a mixed-media artist.
DAM: If you could collaborate with anyone (past or present), who would it be?
SQS: If I could collaborate with anyone, I would create an exhibit with Nina Simone and Kara Walker.
DAM: What’s an exhibition that doesn’t exist, but probably should?
SQS: The show I mentioned above :)
DAM: What is a museum?
SQS: A museum is a place to share, preserve, and discuss art, history, people, and objects, and their stories. It’s a place to create community, to create art, to learn together and share what we’ve learned, to discuss perspectives and build relationships.
DAM: If you could do anything you want in a museum, what would it be?
SQS: Have a sleepover with my friends.
DAM: You’re passing out invitations to your event….what do they say?
SQS: Untitled: Word? Word!