Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey is an author, performer, and producer. He hails from Columbia, Missouri, and holds a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Iowa. His debut book, Look, Black Boy, became Amazon’s #1 new release in African American poetry, and was awarded first prize in the North Street Book Prize. His second book, Heart Notes was published in 2019 and featured on Iowa Public Radio. He released two spoken word albums, a studio version of Look, Black Boy, and a performance album titled, Heart Notes Live! He co-founded the literary magazine Black Art; Real Stories, was published in Iowa's Best Emerging Poets - 2019, the Little Village Magazine, and wrote a monthly column for The Real Mainstream. For three years in a row he was named Best Poet/Spoken Word Performer in Cedar Rapids & Iowa City.
As a performer he is the winner of multiple poetry slams across the country. He has taken the stage in countless cities, including Kansas City, Saint Louis, Baltimore, Washington DC, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, New York City, and even internationally in London, England. He has opened for spoken word titans such as Siaara Freeman, Javon Johnson, and Anthony McPherson. Videos of his performances are also online at Write About Now and Button Poetry. Outside of poetry, Caleb acted in a number of plays, some of which include Blood at the Root, I and You, and the Iowa debuts Exit Strategy and Luna Gale.
When he is not writing and performing he is actively curating a community of spoken word poets in Iowa City through his high school program, IC Speaks, and producing events like the Mic Check Poetry Fest.