Most people picture poets as lonely sorts isolated from the world around them, living in a perpetual dreamlike state with little regard for reality. But Rashaad Thomas crashes through that stereotype, creating works that amplify the breadth and depth of racism past and present. Thomas often does public poetry readings, sharing works that range from comforting to deeply unsettling. They're a clarion call to conscience, urging people to work for change in their communities rather than settling for the status quo or supporting systems of oppression. He's particularly gifted in blending the personal with the political, creating poetry that's both profoundly challenging and accessible.