Don't Call Us Dead

Don't Call Us Dead

Poems

Book - 2017
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Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry
Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection

"[Smith's] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy."-- The New Yorker

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.

Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota :, Graywolf Press,, [2017]
ISBN: 9781555977856
Branch Call Number: 811.6 SMI 2017
Characteristics: 88 pages ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Do not call us dead

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p
peapod416
Jun 23, 2018

This was a very good book of poems. There isn't much poetry (or books in general) written from the perspective of a gay Black man so this book was much needed.

r
rixonkj
Apr 06, 2018

I don't even know where to start talking about this book. It reached right into my chest and wrung out my heart. Here's a few lines from Smith's poem "seroconversion" that can tell you better than I can why you should read this:

one day, the boy with a difficult name
laid with a boy who shall remain
nameless in the sun & they rolled around
waiting for something to burn. the next
day, the boy with the difficult name
woke up in a blue sweat, walked the rim
of the lake & though nothing burned,
something was growing from ashes, for
mosquitos flew away from his skin, ticks
latched onto his ankle & turned to
smoke, weeds & willows bowed green
spines to him & he swore he heard the
dirt singing his name

saying it right

SPPL_Kristen Mar 14, 2018

A beautiful, heart-wrenching collection. Smith brings an important voice and perspective to the table and does so in unique, exciting ways.

c
cameronisok
Jan 27, 2018

The hype for Danez Smith is deserved. This collection features some of the most vital poetry of our time. It is both a labor of craft and also accessible enough for your grandparents to read.

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