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Don't Call Us Dead: Poems

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.

Selected to support the African American Art History Initiative at the Getty Research Institute.

- Danez Smith
- 96 pages
- 6.5 inches W x 8 inches L x 0.3 inch H
- Paperback
- Graywolf Press
- 2017
- Item #: 978-1555977856