Don't Call Us Dead
PoemsPaperback - 2017
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.
From Library Staff
Smith's incandescent poetry collection explores what it means to be black, queer and HIV-positive with admirable passion. By turns romantic, erotic, haunting and defiant, these poems burn with a lyric intensity that reflect the activist times we live in yet also ring with eternal human themes of ... Read More »