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. In 2020 and 2021 he was named Best Poet/Spoken Word Performer in Cedar Rapids & Iowa City. In 2021 he converted the poems from his first book to create his first spoken word album, Look, Black Boy. 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.
As a performer he is the winner of multiple poetry slams across the country, as well as a finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global Poetry Slam – Iowa City. He has taken the stage in countless cities, including Kansas City, Baltimore, Washington DC, Denver, Houston, Chicago, New York City, and even internationally in London, England. He was also featured on Button Poetry and Write About Now. 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 creation of a high school program, IC Speaks, and producing local events like the Mic Check Poetry Festival.