April is National Poetry Month, and there’s still time to celebrate. I recommend picking up a copy of Clint Smith’s stunning new collection “Above Ground.”

Via Clint Smith on Instagram

Expanding on many of the themes he covered in his #1 New York Times best-selling work of non-fiction “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America,” Smith expresses his anguish over the ongoing violence against Black people, celebrates his ancestry, considers his connection with the natural world, and above all, unearths the unexpected pleasures – and fears – of becoming a father.

Of his young son, he writes: “you are part of me in ways I am still discovering.”  Smith’s honest, gorgeously written, and deeply moving investigation is a profound reminder of the ways in which children connect us with our past. “When I look at you, it’s like I’m seeing everything that came before, all the people I love who once lived, all of the history that has brought you here to me.” 

Eloisa Bloom is a Rough Draft contributor. She enjoys soccer, painting, creative writing, and playing with her dog, Daisy.