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Don't Call Us Dead
Don't Call Us Dead: Poems | Danez Smith
The highly anticipated second collection by Danez SmithHallelujah is an understatement (Patricia Smith) Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power.Dont 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, mortalitythe dangers experienced in skin and body and bloodand a diagnosis of HIV positive. Some of us are killed / in pieces, Smith writes, some of us all at once.Dont Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes AmericaDear White Americawhere every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.
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kgriffith
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From Danez Smith‘s “summer, somewhere” series, which starts this book of poetry we‘re discussing for queer book club tomorrow.

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ephemeralwaltz
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Pickpick

The craft and talent that Smith displays in this poetry collection is otherworldly. Theirs is a new voice I didn't know I needed to hear and I'm so regretful of not having discovered them before. Smith writes about being black in America, being gay in America, being HIV-positive to top it all off. This is a cry for an inclusive America that isn't anywhere to be found.
Five bleeding stars for one of the toughest texts I've ever read.

TrishB Stacked, what a great review. 3mo
ephemeralwaltz @TrishB thank you!! 3mo
Kalalalatja I wish I could double stack this based on your review! 3mo
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nelehelen
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Pickpick

5/5
Powerful, humbling and penetrating. This is my first encounter with Danez Smith and it definitely won‘t be my last. Every line was thoughtful and full of energy, full of life. Fantastic book of short poems about black men, gay men and what it means to live in today‘s America.

#24in48

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NeamhainHughes
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Pickpick

Passionate, heartbreaking, raw, honest. I don‘t have anything coherent to say about these poems, except recommend. #queerbooks #blackbooks

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megnews
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Niso
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Theaelizabet I have my eye on the Porter and the Yiyun Li 8mo
Niso @Theaelizabet Lanny is on the top of my TBR along with Don‘t Call Us Dead 8mo
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tamaria
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Even better the second time. #poetry

“how long / does it take / a story / to become / a legend? / how long before / a legend / becomes / a god or / forgotten? / ask the rain / what it was / like to be the river / then ask the river / who it drowned.”

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shawnmooney
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Reggie ❤️ 12mo
Lindy This whole collection is a treat, isn‘t it? 12mo
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megnews
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Mehso-so

I seem to be the unpopular opinion on this one. There were a few poems where the language or subject leaped out at me and made me reread and reread but, by and large, this collection wasn‘t for me. Next up in poetry: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. I loved Milk and Honey. #poetrymatters
Book 5/90 1/6/19

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ReadingEnvy
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Some of the best poetry I read in 2018. I featured two of these volumes on the Best of 2018 Reading Envy Podcast, where others also share their best reads of the year. https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy139

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beccaaruba
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Danez Smith is a star. This book was tender, it was mournful, it was angry, it was funny, it was everything. Smith‘s vision is clear and fruitful. I will follow them wherever they go.

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megnews
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Centique
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“When I was born, I was born a bull‘s-eye.
I spent my life arguing how I mattered
until it didn‘t matter”

This poem is so perfectly sculpted, yet lean and raw and pain filled. My brain is blown 🤯

batsy Oof. 💔 1y
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daena
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Finals are officially over! I managed a 3.9 this semester and I am thrilled. It was an absolutely brutal semester filled with unexpected family emergencies and material that had me scratching my head quite a bit (Digital Curation?!) But alas it is over and I am now left with my internship and a seminar, then graduation in May! For now I am going to enjoy quiet time with poetry, catch up on Jemisin and coffee! #mlis #archives #gradschool

saguarosally I can‘t wait to get back to grad school. 1y
Tamra 👏🏾👏🏾 Good for you!! 1y
daena Get it @saguarosally ! It took me over 12 years to get back, never too late! 1y
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daena Thank you so much, @Tamra ! 1y
saguarosally @daena I am going to pay off my undergrad loans first. If I started right now, I‘d probably get to starting 18-20 years after finishing my undergrad degree. 1y
AmyG 🎉🎉🎉 1y
daena Sounds like a plan @saguarosally 1y
daena Thanks, @AmyG 1y
coffeenebula Yessss, you‘ve got this and richly deserve a break now! 🦄 1y
daena @coffeenebula thank you 🦄 1y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Pickpick

Poetry books are very hit or miss with me, and although this one wasn‘t a favorite for me I have to have lots of respect for a volume that touches on such serious topics as sex, AIDS, and police shootings. This one may not be for everyone, but it‘s powerful and doesn‘t pull any punches.

Angitron Totally agree! I couldn‘t always relate to the poems in this one, but the one‘s I could were like a punch to the gut. Beautifully written. I saw him and Eve Ewing at a reading last year, and it was a perfect match! 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Angitron That is awesome, and I‘d bet the ones read by him where even more powerful spoken! And yes, I felt that way too, some I know went over my head, but the ones about love and loss... so emotionally charged. The one about the missing friends, uh punch to the gut for sure. 1y
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Expandingbookshelf
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“I‘ve left in search of a new God. i do not trust the God you have given us, my grandmother‘s hallelujah is only outdone by the fear she nurses every time the blood-fat summer swallows another child who used to sing in the choir. take your God back. though his songs are beautiful, his miracles are inconsistent.”

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Laughterhp
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Pickpick

Laying sick on the couch right now, with a pile of books on my side and my work laptop on the other side. I tried to finish this yesterday to add 1 more book to my October read list, but only got halfway through.

I don‘t understand poetry. I never have and only read this for a challenge prompt. I understood that this was about black lives matter, living as a gay black man, and HIV.

#ReadingWomenChallenge - book of poetry

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Thndrstd
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Pickpick

A powerful, intense body of poetry by a gay HIV-positive black man confronting violence, love, sex, and the places they are intersect. Highly recommended.

TrishB Glad it‘s good! I‘ve just included this in my poetryswap parcel and I was keeping my fingers crossed it would be good as I haven‘t read! 1y
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Loralie
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This poetry collection is brutal & beautiful & amazing & made me gasp while reading it. It deserves all of the hype it has been getting.

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Tonton
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amma-keep-reading
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Highly recommend. Intimate. Poignant. Necessary.

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deathmetalcardigan
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that time Danez borrowed my copy of his book for a reading

Suet624 Great photo. 💕💕 2y
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DannyOlda
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I'm really looking forward to reading this one. Peeked at the first poem and already impressed. Just picked it up at one of my favorite indie book shops in Tampa at their new location, Inkwood Books

saresmoore I love this cover and have heard amazing things about this book. Thank you for reminding me of it! 2y
DannyOlda Awesome, @saresmoore -- I'm curious to hear what you think of it! 2y
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chlolovesbooks
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5

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ReadingEnvy
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I read so many books in April that I only have space to post the five star reads (easy to do during National Poetry Month!) The full list: http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2018/05/books-read-april-2018-74-122.html

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readordierachel
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Pickpick

I was not planning to read this entire collection today but that's what happened. Incredible.

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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

One last post for National Poetry Month, one of the best poets I saw at AWP and one of the best collections I read this month.

Lindy 👍 2y
vivastory Did you see Kevin Young on the Daily Show tonight? I love his work. Both as a poet & an anthologist. 2y
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dastevensish
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Pickpick

What an amazing, powerful, unapologetic poetry collection. Smith‘s poems speak to the realities of living in a black, queer, HIV-positive body in our society. Quite possibly the best poetry collection I‘ve ever read, but damn is it hard on one‘s heart.

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sakeriver
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Wow.

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bookwrm526
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Pickpick

Heart-wrenching but beautiful poetry. This volume deals with race and queerness and living with HIV.

marlenabea Love Danez Smith! 2y
Eggs Kewl photo 2y
bookwrm526 @Eggs Thanks! I love old buildings and barns, this one is on my daily commute 2y
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sakeriver
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I love this book so far and I think the cover is beautiful but also I don‘t really want to have to deal with explaining what I‘m reading to my coworkers.

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Lindy
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Pickpick

Danez Smith: genderqueer, African American, HIV positive. “i got this problem: i was born / black and faggoty.” Their poetry counterbalances bleakness with humour; rage with celebration; fatalism with determination; and sorrow with hope. It‘s powerful stuff. #LGBTQ #poetrychallenge2018

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Lindy
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Dear White America is in this collection. I also found it online as a powerful spoken word piece:
https://youtu.be/LSp4v294xog

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Lindy
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Lindy
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each night, i count my brothers. & in the morning, when some do not survive to be counted, i count the holes they leave. i reach for black folks & touch only air. your master magic trick, America. now he‘s breathing, now he don‘t. abra-cadaver.

-dear white america

#poetrychallenge2018 #LGBTQ #ownvoices

batsy 😔😔😔 2y
Simona I‘m speechless ... 2y
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Andrea4 Damn. 2y
kathedron Powerful words! 2y
minkyb Brilliant 2y
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ReadingEnvy
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I really liked hearing this poet read yesterday so I bought their collection!

readordierachel This sounds great! Look forward to your review. 2y
saresmoore This is such a striking cover. 2y
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elizabethlk
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Pickpick

This kind of poetry is the reason people should read poetry, should listen to poets read poetry, should share poetry. Smith's work is raw and open in a devastating sort of way. Definitely among the best I have read this year.

Recommended.

Dulcinella Thx! Added to my list. 2y
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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

I'm not a big poetry reader, but if poetry is defined as "good" based on it's ability to evoke emotion or craft a reaction based on word choice and form, then this is powerfully good. Smith's poems are gritty and the images aren't always beautiful, but they feel open and honest even when they are brutal. Much of his work in this collection centers around race and sexuality and what it means to be black and HIV positive in America.

mrozzz 💔👌🏻 2y
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Zoe_reads_books
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mrozzz 😔 2y
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actuallyalison
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Pickpick

Compassion for those unlike us: this is why we read. To educate.

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Natasha.C.Barnes
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"history is what it is. it knows what it did."
-from "summer, somewhere"
#poetrychallenge2018 #blacklivesmatter

readinginthedark 😔 But this is also beautifully written. (edited) 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @readinginthedark I know, right? I can't wait to read more, but also my heart hurts. I think this is why I love art so much, though--beautiful art is the sugar coating on the bitter pill of ideas and realities we have to confront. Depressing reason to love art, but whatever. 2y
readinginthedark Yes, that‘s a brilliant and perfect way to explain it! I agree. 2y
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AlizaApp
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved this moving poetry collection. Danez writes about being queer, black, HIV positive, and Black Lives Matter. #5book5bingo

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AlizaApp
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From “Seroconversion”

But this whole collection is gorgeous so far.

#5book5bingo

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Natasha.C.Barnes
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Here are my picks! Who are you reading in February? #poetrychallenge2018

readinginthedark Nazim Hikmet! I‘m still stuck in the intro of my book, but I‘m thinking of putting that part on pause, because I really want to get to the poetry! 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @readinginthedark oh yeah, you can always skip an intro, don't you think? I like to read them but sometimes they really stop you up! 2y
readinginthedark I agree! I love reading them, but sometimes I have to do it after the book so I can start faster. I was trying to read it before this time to get some concept of Hikmet‘s life, since the poems span his lifetime. Oh well, we‘ll see. Maybe I‘ll read a few poems and then read a page of intro and just keep alternating. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
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needleminding
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Very excited about my #bookmail today 💖

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hwheaties
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Pickpick

Looks like it‘s snuggles and reading to welcome in the new year. Not complaining.

This collection is a complex examination of existence for a black, gay, HIV-positive man. Stunning and humbling to read as a cishet white woman.

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I am not a reader of poetry but I can see why this volume has garnered such a positive response. Smith tackles racism, HIV, and his own struggles as a gay black man. I didn‘t understand all of it but found it very affecting. And some passages are quite erotic, which helps add buoyancy to the heaviness.

kiminreverse I looooooved this collection! 2y
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hwheaties
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Next up!

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BookishFeminist
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This poetry collection is undoing me.

ohyeahthatgirl This one and Citizen by Claudia Rankine were real gut punches. 2y
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