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4.47  ·  Rating details ·  3,443 ratings  ·  556 reviews
A NPR Best Book of 2020

Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xeno
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Graywolf Press
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Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,443 ratings  ·  556 reviews

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Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Homie (but really that isn't this book's title), is a love letter to friendship, the push and pull of it, the give and take, the good and bad. So many of these poems are unexpectedly moving. Warm. Smith plays with form in several poems. They bring an incredible level of depth and craft to writing about the friends we can't live without, the friends who are just passing through our lives, the differences that create borders between us, the things we try to make peace with so we might survive. Wel ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Loved the unapologetic blackness and queerness of this poetry collection. I appreciate Danez Smith’s centering of friendship in this collection and their confident, sensitive approach to addressing issues of racism, femmephobia, and other forms of social injustice. The caring and connection they have with their friends and their loved ones radiates with warmth and eloquence. I only give it three stars because I did not find this collection as powerful as their work Don’t Call Us Dead , on top ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recs, poetry, 2020
A dynamic collection of poems exploring friendship, Blackness, queerness, solidarity, and so much more, from one of the country’s most inventive poets. Some of the poems shine more brightly than others, but all, like anything Danez Smith writes, are well worth reading and listening to several times.
Paris (parisperusing)
what good is hiding the gun
& locking the cabinet if the boy

can still find his own hands?
if anything that loops can be a rope?

I was born into a masculine body, but I was not born into masculinity. I was not mannish like my cousins, undaunted like my uncles, or hot-tempered like my grandfathers. A hive of women enfolded me; a child swaddled in black femininity. I’ve come a long way since then. Since worshipping at the altar of Trey’s thighs in the dark spaces of my childhood home, since the sun’
Elyse  Walters
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
.... powerful... raw....gut-wrenching.

This was the second time I took this book out of the library to read. The first time… I was busy reading some thing else and never got to it. I kept seeing this book around our year…and I saw that it was nominated for one of the best book of poems by Goodreads ... so I checked it out again. Glad I did.

“This book was titled ‘Homie’ because I don’t want non-black people to say ‘my nig’ out loud. This book is really titled ‘my nig’”.

Love, loss, hope
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: black-writers
I'll read anything that Danez Smith publishes. They are just that good. I know that a 3-stars-rating might seem too average to encompass the genius that Danez Smith is, but since I have read their entire body of work, I like to keep things into perspective. And if I compare Homie to its previous works - Black Movie (4 stars) and Don't Call Us Dead (5 stars) – it simple wasn't as good. (It was still good though, don't worry.)

With Homie, Danez wanted to write a book for their people, their friend
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found great depth of emotion in this poetry collection. The poems centered mainly around love and appreciation of those close to you, whether by family, friendship, or just kinship through shared experiences or identities. There was both a strength and vulnerability to the language here, and many of the poems ended with what felt like a gut punch of recognition or understanding.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read2020, poetry
As summarized by Smith, this collection is about "intimacy, love, suicidal ideation, and 'when does the revolution start for your loved ones'" which seems rather timely. Everyone should buy it and read it so I'll only quote

from say it with your whole black mouth
", standing in my own body, i say: next time
they murder us for the crime of their imaginations
i don’t know what i’ll do.
i did not come to preach of peace
for that’s not the hunted’s duty...."

To get a feeling...
This performance from
Darryl Suite
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every time I try to review poetry, I get mentally tongue-tied. Conveying my thoughts on poetry has never been my strong suit, even in school. But I wanted to find some way to highlight 'Homie,' Danez Smith’s new poetry collection because I really want everyone to give it a try (and this collection meant a lot to me). While reading ‘Homie,’ it becomes quite apparent, very early on, that ‘Homie’ is not the actual title of the collection. I’ll leave it at that. ‘Homie’ is a fiery collection about s ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-6
6 out of 5.
As vibrant and joyful as the neon cover, even when Smith is dealing with such heavy topics as suicide, HIV status, and the American racist. I don't think I've ever read a poem collection like this and I am so fucking happy it exists in the world. I didn't know how much I needed it, and so I can only imagine how the folks Danez is writing for feel.
A bold, exuberant shout in a bleak world. You'll feed off this for days and it'll put a bounce in your step.
Aleatha Terrell
“& how many times have you loved me without my asking?/how often have I loved a thing because you loved it?/including me.”
Taylor Cunningham
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star, queer
This irrevocably fucked me up and I would trade anything to share these words with Lizzy.

“I was not ready to be your witness. I broke like champagne against your vessel. But to see your mother, to see her see you settled into a jar? What’s it like to lose all that?”
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2020-reads, lgbtq, race
A beautiful, multi-layered collection - humour, love, sadness, anger, all packed movingly into a slim volume. I loved Danez Smith’s use of language and the way their poems were very personal (odes to particular friendships, thoughts on their HIV status), while at the same time distilling the big picture. I think their work will speak to a lot of people.

I’d been waiting for it from the library for a while. It was sadly on point to have it arrive in the midst of surging Black Lives Matter protests
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetshere
This didn’t connect as I would have hoped. Today has been a knotty rope of estrangement, restless hands pick and attempt to loosen—but the pace of the day cottons more to regular sighs than a gasp. This time at home continues to stretch and I shouldn’t complain.

The poems are dense, steeped in poverty, in HIV, in an implied danger.

For now I’m passing on the stack of poetry my wife bought me for my birthday.
Misse Jones
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whew! What a riveting collection of poems!

These honest and heartfelt poems are unlike any other I’ve read/listened to besides perhaps a poetry slam I’ve attended in some past time. “Homie” is REAL. It is relatable in a way that made me feel right at home the entire book. TOUCHING. MOVING. CHANGING.

I’m glad that I was able to obtain a copy of the audio book which they narrates because there was a sort of bop to it that at most times felt like I was listening to beautiful, poetic song lyrics ins
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There isn’t much I can say to describe this collection besides the fact that just when I think Danez Smith can’t outdo themselves, they go and put out an amazing collection like this one that completely unraveled me. Their words and structure are unparalleled. They bring a modern twist to romantic classic poetry and it’s not something easily achieved. The way they ensconce their pain and loss into such unique and eye opening schemes is beyond comparison. Danez shows me a side of life I’m not use ...more
xTx xTx
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
i heart black poets, black poetry. Deep inside things flowing for decades, symbiotic and shouting. Needing to be heard, needing to teach their blood runs wet, warm and copper just the same as yours. A depth of understanding i'll never know, but keep trying. This book had so much. ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A powerful and very timely collection of poems from the queer, Black, non-binary and much honored writer. I expect to see Smith on plenty of awards lists again this year.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it

scooby-doo was trying to tell us something when every time that monster mask got snatched off it was a greedy white dude.

in ’97, a black comic gets on stage, 
says, you ever notice how white dogs be like woof woof & black dogs be like ruff ruff motherfuckaaaaa!!

the dog upstairs won’t shut up & i’ve thought of ending his  little  noisy 
life but i have to remember he 
matters he matters & if i did the 
brown girl upstairs would cry forever.

dog (n.): a man’s best friend. (
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Of the 3 Danez Smith collections I've read so far, this may be the one I liked least, but it still gets 5 stars because they are just THAT good. A handful of the poems here are some of the best single poems I've read in the past year, and one in particular ("what was said at the bus stop") destroyed me with its beauty and truth.

Even before the Table of Contents, Smith makes me aware of my whiteness. They don't erase the white reader, but still do make readers consider how our race impacts our re
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The other day, LeBron James pulled up from halfcourt and swished a jumpshot. He didn't need to. There were 10 minutes left in the quarter, 20 seconds on the shot clock. He did it because he's LeBron, and he can, and he knew the crowd would be delighted when he did.

That's kind of the way I feel about this book. Danez Smith simply dazzles in line after line, poem after poem, page after page. When I read books of poetry, I like to dog-ear the poems I particularly like so that I can return to them a
Ebony Rose
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Danez Smith, you are perfect.
Maria Pahlman
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For friendship.
I read this collection out load and cried throughout.
Elegy+diary+war cry
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a love letter. In this collection of poems, Danez demonstrates his love for Black people but especially for Black men; and this is all the more poignant because he does so as a Black gay man seeing Black men as lovers, sex partners, and friends. In other words, Danez desires them and appreciates them.

I began this as an audiobook, read by the author himself--his voice full of emotions and song. It was very compelling and extremely intimate to have his voice in my head. I then read the boo
Race, racism, violence, suicide, trauma, queerness, gender identity, HIV. Danez Smith’s work hits all the heavy subjects, even in this collection focused on the boundless love of friendship, relationships, connectedness. Then there’s nature, family, the family we choose, sex, the sheer joy of language and poetry. There’s a whole universe and then some inside these poems. This was my introduction to their work but I need more!

It’s telling that Danez is a spoken word poet because their work has a
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Danez Smith’s third book is an offering to friendship, a reckoning of tensions that must be fought and resisted on a daily basis, and an observation of the large and small kindnesses that are necessary for life. This book exemplifies the personal as political, and the political as personal, with poems that simultaneously engage racism, xenophobia, violence, and more, while calling upon friends as a means of crossing into utopia. These poems are incantatory in the sense they are able to show the ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“what advice do the drowned have for the burned? / what gossip is there between the hanged and the buried?” (41)

“your whole body gray in a brass bowl / waiting to be scattered / to jewel the wind, get caught in our eyes” (46)

“& how many times have you loved me without my asking? / how often have i loved a thing because you loved it? / including me” (80)


So grateful to Smith for letting their heart juices stain the page. I will return to this collection ag
Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)
Poems about being a queer Black non-binary person who is HIV positive, grieving, and mourning the loss of those taken too soon, depression, suicidal thoughts and American racism. Danez Smith is a powerful poet and they are hilarious. The audiobook is narrated by the author and I really enjoyed listening to author recite their poems.

"Scooby-doo was trying to tell us something when every time that monster mask got snatched off it was a greedy white dude."

"One dead boy makes the forest a grave"

Smileitsjoy (JoyMelody)
First of all, the real title of this book had me laughing!

But more importantly, once again Danez Smith has given us a collection that we didn't know we needed!

Asia J
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
i love poetry rich in imagery that conveys the beautiful feeling of being utterly black. stunning, loved it.
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Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (2014, YesYes Books), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Their 2nd collection will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. Their work has published & featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Ploughshares. They are a 2014 Ruth Lil ...more

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“& how many times have you loved me without my asking? how often have i loved a thing because you loved it? including me” 5 likes
“i want to say something without saying it
but there’s no time. i’m waiting for a few folks

i love dearly to die so i can be myself.
please don’t make me say who.”
More quotes…