Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality―the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood―and a diagnosis of HIV positive. “Some of us are killed / in pieces,” Smith writes, “some of us all at once.” Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America―“Dear White America”―where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.
Praise for Danez Smith
[Smith’s] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy.
— The New Yorker
About Danez Smith
Danez Smith is the winner of a 2014 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. They are the author of Homie (Graywolf), Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf), “[insert] boy” (YesYes Books, 2014), one of the Boston… MORE