Optimized-me-loresHello and welcome to my website. My name is Charles R. Smith Jr. and I am a children’s book author, poet, photographer, personal fitness trainer and Mixed Martial Arts coach. As you can see, I have a wide range of interests so I divided my website into three sections, Mind, Body and Spirit to reflect all that I do. Mind covers my books, writing projects and photography. Body covers fitness and health. And Spirit covers what motivates and inspires me. I believe a strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand and are made even stronger by a positive spirit so feel free to jump between all three to see the role they each play in my life. I’m also a big fan of technology and social media so I’ve added lots of interactive tools to improve your website experience. My social media feeds are also right up front to keep the site fresh and updated so feel free to check back on a regular basis. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!


Books, Writing Projects, Photography and School Visits

To Mind


Health and Fitness

To Body


What Motivates and Inspires Me

To Spirit

Latest Book


IMG_182228 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World is out now. Published by Neal Porter Books at Roaring Brook Press and illustrated by Shane Evans, this book has gotten off to a great start with rave reviews, blog posts and videos. Go behind the scenes here and view my Twitter Feed to see what the hub-bub is all about! Listen to my poems here.





 What am I working on now?


Bounce: A Basketball Opera. A basketball opera? That’s right, an opera. I wrote the words, called the libretto, and it’s being done with Ardea Arts Family Opera Initiative in New York City. The production is scheduled to premiere in Summer 2016 but there’s still IMG_1919plenty of work to be done, starting with me revising the second draft. I’m proud to say that the University of Kentucky is a sponsor since they have a big opera department, and oh yeah, a pretty good basketball team too. I’ll keep you updated here with a behind the scenes look from page to production through my social media so keep checking in. (That’s me and Grethe Holby, the director, hanging out at a game with the UK Wildcat for some research.)



Coming Soon


2016 will see the long-awaited release of two new biographies on icons Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jordan. The illustrators are still hard at work so I’ll let you know when I have an official date.

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