'A deeply personal collection... and provocative and moving meditation on friendship, sex and blackness,' Guardian
'In its cutting compassion, Homie is as much a celebration of loved ones' lives as it is a lament for their loss, equally a war cry for kinship and the burial dirge after the battle' Amanda Gorman
A mighty anthem about the saving grace of friendship, Danez Smith's highly anticipated collection Homie is rooted in their search for joy and intimacy in a time where both are scarce. 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 written for friends: for Danez's friends, for yours.
'This is a book full of the turbulence of thought and desire, piloted by a writer who never loses their way' New York Times
I’d like to invent or order up new adjectives to describe the startling originality and ambition of Smith’s work. I’d like to unwrap some brand-new words, oddly pronged words, to convey their wary intelligence and open heart. Instead, I can only yoke together antonyms to convey anything of their particular vibration: their joy-dread, hunger-contentment, holy-profanity... The radiance of Homie arrives like a shock, like found money, like a flower fighting through concrete... This is a book full of the turbulence of thought and desire, piloted by a writer who never loses their way. That compass — provided by friends, influences, collaborators — stays steady.
A deeply personal collection... and provocative and moving meditation on friendship, sex and blackness.
Danez Smith has always been the most talented voice of our generation, but it’s here, in their third collection, that their virtuosic abilities are matched by the ambitiousness of their heart. Here, they’ve built a table big enough to hold all of it: the small shames that accompany grief, the ecstasy of chosen kinship, "your people, my people, all that hashappened / to us"
This book reads as gospel, as righteous text that carves a religion out of friendship... Blessed be Danez Smith, for allowing us that closeness... Smith holds genius in them, and we are lucky that they choose to share it with usso abundantly
Homie is how we survive – in verse... For Danez, friendship is a forest ripe with foliage and possibility... They offer us poems of seed and breath, charging us to reimagine the world as inhabitable and safe in this skin and these bodies beckoning us back to dirt
‘My President’ by Danez Smith is a call to celebrate a wide range of loved ones, famous names and random strangers who have touched others’ lives, elevating them to the highest title in the US. Danez Smith is the author of Homie and Don’t Call Us Dead, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and a finalist for the National Book Award.
We asked five Penguin authors whose work explores racism, in fiction and nonfiction, to share the books they feel are crucial to understanding – and then acting on – racial injustice at home and worldwide.
Chatto & Windus author Danez, 29, became the youngest ever winner of the prize for their collection Don't Call Us Dead, with fellow Chatto author Liz Berry winning the prize for Best Poem with The Republic of Motherhood.