[insert] boy

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 BooksDanez 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 Jimmy Savannah and Blood Dazzler

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