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Makayla Smith wants to use poetry to create spaces of joy and representation for Black, queer audiences. Growing up in the rural South, she struggled to find her identity as a writer and as a person. But studying literature, creative writing, and African American Studies at UAB has clarified for Smith what role she wants to play in the world as an academic and creator. Now, as an adult and recent graduate, she has a clearer understanding of herself.

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