Don't Call Us Dead - Danez Smith - 11/05/2017 - 1:30pm

Don't Call Us Dead

The Bubbler

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, 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 collection, one that confronts America where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.  

Danez Smith

Danez Smith Headshot

Danez Smith is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Homie, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Don’t Call Us Dead, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and a finalist for the National Book Award.

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