Christian J. Collier is a Black, Southern writer, arts organizer, and teaching artist who resides in Chattanooga, TN. A 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow, he is also the winner of the 2020 ProForma Contest and the 2019-2020 Seven Hills Review Poetry Contest. He is an accomplished artist, public speaker, and educator who has shared the stage with several members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, legendary poet and activist Ishmael Reed, Grammy-nominated artist Minton Sparks, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members The Impressions, etc. Mr. Collier has also given a TED Talk and been featured on an episode of TNT’s State Farm Neighborhood Sessions. Christian J. Collier’s poems of witness have the kind of keen insight that slices to the heart of the subject. The Gleaming of the Blade examines Black masculinity in the contemporary American South, alongside the lingering ghosts of the past, and how it feels to be Black in a country whose divisions and struggles could signal the end of civilization. These poems never shy away, interrogating harsh injustices and contending with the truth of today’s America, a truth sometimes beautiful, sometimes biting.