*A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY 2017*`[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 ground-breaking 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 an HIV-positive diagnosis.
`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 an America where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.