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Danez Smith - book author

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their 2nd collection will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. Their work has published & featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Ploughshares. They are a 2014 Ruth Lilly - Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, a Cave Canem and VONA alum, and a recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. They are a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, placing 2nd in 2014. They edit for The Offing & are a founding member of 2 collectives, Dark Noise and Sad Boy Supper Club. They live in the midwest most of the time.

Danez was featured in American Academy of Poet's Emerging Writers Series by National Book Award Finalist Patricia Smith. Like her, Danez bridges the poetics of the stage to that of the page. Danez's work transcends arbitrary boundaries to present work that is gripping, dismantling of oppression constructs, and striking on the human heart. Often centered around intersections of race, class, sexuality, faith, and social justice, Danez uses rhythm, fierce raw power, and image to re-imagine the world as takes it apart in his work.

Danez Smith is the author of books: Don't Call Us Dead, Homie, [insert] boy, Black Movie, Hands on ya knees, Black Queer Hoe, Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump, American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time, Come As You Are

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01
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.
02
Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.
03
The next time someone tells you spoken word poets can’t make poems come to life on the page, send them to Danez Smith’s [insert] boy, a remarkable debut collection that puts that tired notion to bed once and for all. In these poems, Smith opens the reader to a world of desire, longing, and deep mourning that picks up where his brothers Hopkins and Whitman left off. Startling in their formal range and virtuosity, these poems interrogate the ways the body not only inhabits but actually becomes public and private space: …tonight, I am no one’s pet, maybe an animal, wounded & hungry for revenge or sympathy but what’s the difference? Danez Smith lays down the gauntlet for all of us to speak our deepest truths with more elegance, more ferocity, and almost more beauty than a reader can bear.
—Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Apocalyptic Swing, Poetry Editor for The LA Review of Books

Danez Smith is the crown prince of innovation and ferocity, a stunningly original voice that chooses not to recognize or respect those vexing artistic boundaries. Here is forte unleashed, an elicit glimpse of poetry's yet-to-be-turned page, a reason to stomp and romp in your church shoes. Hallelujah is an understatement.
—Patricia Smith, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah and Blood Dazzler
04
“These harrowing poems make montage, make mirrors, make elegiac biopic, make “dope ass trailer with a hundred black children / smiling into the camera & the last shot is the wide mouth of a pistol.” That’s no spoiler alert, but rather, Smith’s way–saying & laying it beautifully bare. A way of desensitizing the reader from his own defenses each time this long, Black Movie repeats.”

– Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer
06
A refreshing, unapologetic intervention into ongoing conversations about the line between sexual freedom and sexual exploitation.

Black Queer Hoe is a refreshing, unapologetic intervention into ongoing conversations about the line between sexual freedom and sexual exploitation.

Women’s sexuality is often used as a weapon against them. In this powerful debut, Britteney Black Rose Kapri lends her unmistakable voice to fraught questions of identity, sexuality, reclamation, and power, in a world that refuses Black Queer women permission to define their own lives and boundaries.
07
Thirty-six major contemporary writers examine life in a deeply divided America--including Anthony Doerr, Ann Patchett, Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, Hector Tobar, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Russo, Eula Bliss, Karen Russell, and many more

America is broken. You don't need a fistful of statistics to know this. Visit any city, and evidence of our shattered social compact will present itself. From Appalachia to the Rust Belt and down to rural Texas, the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest stretches to unimaginable chasms. Whether the cause of this inequality is systemic injustice, the entrenchment of racism in our culture, the long war on drugs, or immigration policies, it endangers not only the American Dream but our very lives.

In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world's most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in this divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that in sharing our stories we can help to alleviate a suffering that touches so many people.
08
This is an anthology of poems in the Age of Trump—and much more than Trump. These are poems that either embody or express a sense of empathy or outrage, both prior to and following his election, since it is empathy the president lacks and outrage he provokes.

There is an extraordinary diversity of voices here. The ninety-three poets featured include Elizabeth Alexander, Julia Alvarez, Richard Blanco, Carolyn Forché, Aracelis Girmay, Donald Hall, Juan Felipe Herrera, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marge Piercy, Robert Pinsky, Danez Smith, Patricia Smith, Brian Turner, Ocean Vuong, Bruce Weigl, and Eleanor Wilner. They speak of persecuted and scapegoated immigrants. They bear witness to violence: police brutality against African Americans, mass shootings in a school or synagogue, the rage inflicted on women everywhere. They testify to poverty: the waitress surviving on leftovers at the restaurant, the battles of a teacher in a shelter for homeless mothers, the emergency-room doctor listening to the heartbeats of his patients. There are voices of labor, in the factory and the fields. There are prophetic voices, imploring us to imagine the world we will leave behind in ruins lest we speak and act.

However, this is not merely a collection of grievances. The poets build bridges. One poet steps up to translate in Arabic at the airport; another walks through the city and sees her immigrant past in the immigrant present; another declaims a musical manifesto after the hurricane that devastated his island; another evokes a demonstration in the street, shouting in an ecstasy of defiance. The poets take back the language, resisting the demagogic corruption of words themselves. They assert our common humanity in the face of dehumanization.
09
Selected and with an Introduction by Tracy K. Smith

Co-published by Graywolf Press and the Library of Congress, American Journal presents fifty contemporary poems that explore and celebrate our country and our lives. Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith has gathered a remarkable chorus of voices that ring up and down the registers of American poetry. In the elegant arrangement of this anthology, we hear stories from rural communities and urban centers, laments of loss in war and in grief, experiences of immigrants, outcries at injustices, and poems that honor elders, evoke history, and praise our efforts to see and understand one another. Taking its title from a poem by Robert Hayden, the first African American appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, American Journal investigates our time with curiosity, wonder, and compassion.

Among the fifty poets included are: Jericho Brown, Natalie Diaz, Matthew Dickman, Mark Doty, Ross Gay, Aracelis Girmay, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Cathy Park Hong, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Ilya Kaminsky, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Limón, Layli Long Soldier, Erika L. Sánchez, Solmaz Sharif, Danez Smith, Susan Stewart, Mary Szybist, Natasha Trethewey, Brian Turner, Charles Wright, and Kevin Young.
10
Poetry. Literary Criticism. Music. Art. COME AS YOU ARE is a collection of poetry and short prose celebrating 90s pop culture. With work from Allison Joseph, Chen Chen, Danez Smith, Stephanie Kuehnert, and others, this anthology is nostalgia, remembrance, and protest.

Authors include: Allison Joseph, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Randon Billings Noble, Sarah Lilius, Katie Darby Mullins, Sarah Ann Winn, Ivy Alvarez, Gayle Brandeis, Kristen Figgins, Jasmine An, Danez Smith, Kenyatta JP Garcia, P. Scott Cunningham, Jennifer Macbain- Stephens, Joanna C. Valente, Sarah Frances Moran, Jennifer Shomburg Kanke, Hope Wabuke, Anthony Frame, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Shloka Shankar, t.j. peters, Frenchie Lee Thomspon, Tara Betts, Stephanie Kuehnert, Ellen Kombiyil, Elizabeth Knapp, Timothy Liu, Rani Baker, Majda Gama, Caseyreneé Lopez, Cameron Schneberger, Chen Chen, Cathleen Conway, Sarah Nichols, Sheila Squillante, Bree Rolfe, Stacey Balkun, Tanis Macdonald, Tammy Bendetti, Melissa Fite Johnson, Sa'iyda Shabazz