[Insert Boy] by Danez Smith


The poems of [insert] boy have need of the body—desire it and lament its mortality—but over and again they assert Smith’s seemingly religious belief that every sound the body makes, every word and wail, is only possible through connection to some other plane of existence. This is a lovely, voice-driven book, singing high notes sharp as a switchblade.

—Jericho Brown, Please and The New Testament


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Winner, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, 2016

Winner, John C Zacharis Award 2016 from Ploushares

Winner, Lambda Literary Award, Gay Poetry, 2015

Finalist, Norma Farber First Book Award, Poetry Society of America, 2015

Finalist, Debulitzer, 2015

Chosen by Don Share for Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books, 2014

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

Danez Smith is the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017). Danez is also the author of two chapbooks, hands on your knees (2013, Penmanship Books) and black movie (2015, Button Poetry), winner of the Button Poetry Prize. Their work has published & featured widely including in Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed, Blavity, & Muzzle. They are a 2014 Ruth Lilly – Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow, a Cave Canem and VONA alum, and recipient of a McKnight Foundation Fellowship. They are a 2-time Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, placing 2nd in 2014, and a 3-time Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam Champion. Danez is a founding member of the Dark Noise Collective. They are an MFA candidate at The University of Michigan. Danez is the host ofvs., a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. They is from St. Paul, MN.

[Insert Boy] by Danez Smith