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Don't Call Us Dead: Poems

Don't Call Us Dead: Poems


Don't Call Us Dead: Poems

ratings:
4.5/5 (92 ratings)
Length:
99 pages
47 minutes
Released:
Sep 5, 2017
ISBN:
9781555979775
Format:
Book

Description

Written by Scribd Editors

Exploring the expendability of black bodies in America, Danez Smith engages with topics like police brutality, queer identity in black culture, class, faith, and social justice. The first poem in this book pushes readers right into the deep end by imagining an afterlife for black men shot by police. In this utopia, there is no suspicion, violence, grief, nor guns. They can finally rest.

In another challenging piece, Smith writes from the perspective of a person who has tested HIV positive. This particular poem wrestles with topics like mortality, desire, and illness. This collection of poetry is confrontational, both praising and rebuking American culture and the failed systems on which we rely.

Don't Call Us Dead is an important piece of American literature and has received a lot of attention for its poignancy and timeliness. It was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry and the winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection. With groundbreaking force, deft lyrics, urgent subject matter, and performative power, Don't Call Us Dead is an essential discussion of modern American culture.

Released:
Sep 5, 2017
ISBN:
9781555979775
Format:
Book

About the author

Danez Smith is the author of [INSERT] BOY (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His 2nd collection, Don't Call Us Dead, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. He is also the author of two chapbooks, hands on ya knees and black movie, winner of the Button Poetry Prize. His work has published and featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, and Ploughshares.

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Don't Call Us Dead - Danez Smith

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Reviews

What people think about Don't Call Us Dead

4.4
92 ratings / 9 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Absolutely amazing. It seems one of a kind. Just a truly visceral experience that is a must-read for everyone. I can't believe I've waited this long to read this book. It was beyond any expectations I could have had of it.
  • (5/5)
    This is, by far, one of the best poetry collections I have ever read. It's a discussion of the ways black people in America die, and it's both brutal and beautiful in it's symbolism and wordplay. I don't want to say too much because I implore you to read it as I did: with very little knowledge going into it. The way it unfolds before you catches you off-guard and hurts you, but it's worth it all in the end. I cannot wait to devour anything and everything else Danez Smith writes.
  • (5/5)
    Took me through his world, words were carefully chosen, the story unfolded through alliteration and imagery, definitely left an impact on the soul
  • (5/5)
    Poetry so raw I almost chocked on its blood or in my tears.
  • (4/5)
    Powerful, impactful and heartachingly beautiful poetry collection by Danez Smith where they talk about living black, queer and HIV positive in the USA. So many poems have given me chills, but just as many flew over my head (not because of what they are but because I am not very good at understanding poetry).
    I have read Don’t Call Us Dead as ebook but I will be acquiring an audio book later this month to reread the collection via audio. I have listened to You’re Dead, America and Dear White America and they have impacted me more than just me reading the poems.

    Highly recommend!
  • (4/5)
    This poetry collection is fierce and burning and bright.

    I don't like to compare artworks because it feels unkind to both artists, but this collection feels like the Oscar-winning film Moonlight in poetry form.

    The way he writes is exceptional and effortless, except it's come from a place of effort so it truly means something. Smith takes a queer, black young men, boys 'as brown as rye bread' and creates a paradise for them, so that when they die at the hands of police violence, they can be loved, cherished and honoured in the way they deserve.

    Except it's not heaven, because the boys never died. They live on, eternally, never to be forgotten. All of their toxic masculinity washed away.

    Smith uses his poetry to discuss some things that the queer community has long neglected, racism on Grindr, HIV diagnoses and writes them into being. With the ugly and the beautiful side by side and it feels like life.

    We see a lot of young black men dying at the hands of police violence and it's exhausting and hard to picture an alternative. Without being able to see an alternative, we accept, as difficult as it might be, that this is the way things are, this is how they have to be, this is how they've been.

    Smith, without ever disregarding his history, shows us what paradise might look like.

    And it's black, and it's beautiful.