Danielle Shontae Smith is a writer, storyteller, and educator. Danielle writes poetry and nonfiction about a range of topics, from the intersectionality of ethnic and gender identity to mental health and body image. Danielle earned an MA in English–Creative Writing from Western Washington University and a BA in Women’s Studies from UCLA, with emphases in social inequality and literature. In both her professional and creative work, Danielle has explored how individuals and communities use the medium of language for personal development, connection, and in movements for social change. She believes in the transformative power of story and has performed at and hosted live storytelling events. Danielle lives in Southern California and tries to visit the ocean weekly to make peace with the high cost of living.
People call me “Danielle,” “Dannie,” or “D.” I always have a poem in my heart. I believe no one can be sad while eating a cupcake or holding a puppy. My favorite patterns are polka dot, chevron, and houndstooth. I cry about once a day. I usually wear flowers in my hair. I like my heels high, my martinis filthy, and my lips red. I run-walk towards em dashes, anagrams, portmanteaus, and palindromes. I run-walk away from Earl Grey tea, the pairing of mint with chocolate, and lavender-flavored anything. My favorite word at the moment is “amalgamation.” I love word games, and I play the NY Times Crossword, Mini Crossword, Spelling Bee, and Wordle pretty much every day. I am an Aquarius, INFJ, and Type 5w4 on the Enneagram. Taylor Swift is my love language.