Review: Homie by Danez Smith

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Danez Smith

I’m as surprised as anyone to say that I have a couple of favorite contemporary poets.

For most of my life I didn’t pay much attention to this world, but now I follow the work of a couple of poets pretty carefully including Morgan Parker, Ilya Kaminsky and the brilliant Danez Smith. This new book from Smith is perhaps even better then Don’t Call Us Dead. I found myself saying “wow” out loud at the end of one of the poems here.  Gorgeous language, gut-wrenching honesty and style approachable to a non-expert like me. Smith moves from the playful to the heartbreaking, sometimes in a single poem, like this one.

Opening myself up to poetry and getting invested in the careers of a small group of young poets has been a great experience – exposing to ideas and lives often far from my own and I look forward to their books now like I used to look forward to new album releases. Even if contemporary poetry isn’t really your thing, Smith’s is a voice worth hearing.


Danez Smith. (Photograph by David Hong)

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  1. indiefan20

    I wouldn’t say I have any favorite poets but I do have a handful of poems that I really like and that stick with me. My dad likes to write poetry but doesn’t like to read it, which I find very odd. I’ve been reading more non-fiction and graphic novels lately so maybe I should try to expand my horizons with poetry too! 🙂

    1. seanv2

      I think it’s always worth getting outside your comfort zone! I should probably be reading more graphic novels. What’s good in that world these days?

      1. indiefan20

        I have a few recommendations that you might like…
        1. Blankets by Craig Thompson
        2. Stitches by David Small
        3. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki
        4. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
        5. Skim by Mariko Tamaki
        6. Operatic by Kyo Maclear
        7. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
        8. Here by Richard McGuire (a really unusual one)
        9. The Princess and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
        10. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
        11. El Deafo by Cece Bell
        12. Spinning by Tillie Walden
        13. Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

        That’s probably not a list a graphic novel connoisseur would give you and a lot of them are young adult/middle grade oriented, but that’s a lot of what I’ve been reading lately. I hope you can find something here you’d enjoy! 🙂

      2. seanv2

        Great, thanks for this!

  2. 2020: My Year In Books | Milo and the Calf

    […] me on Instagram for my project this summer highlighting Black authors. I read Smith’s latest, Homie, right before everything went to total shit and it’s brilliant. Many people I know are intimidated […]

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