Course Description: Té V. Smith's debut collection is an examination of religion, emotional violence, and coming of age in a black body, written in a voice that's alternately funny, brash, and deeply reflective. The book contains three interwoven sections. In the opening poem, Down With The Sun, it is 2005: a year after leaving home, our then, 16-year-old narrator becomes enamored by the expanding world outside of East St. Louis IL and follows its lessons and seductions. The second section dances within the complex internal and external wars we fight in our maturing relationship with ourselves and others. The last section finds our narrator older and in a space of conflicted reflection. Spaces for black bodies, the urban education system, and fatherhood are all explored and confronted. This collection introduces Smith as a writer who balances fragile concepts on a razor's edge and confronts often-misunderstood topics with a brevityand child-like wander.