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Danez Smith: ‘I’ve never read Invisible Man. Please don’t take my black writer card’

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The prizewinning poet on the pleasures of Andrea Lawlor, Willie Perdomo and the ‘best novel ever written’

The book I am currently reading
I’m loving Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor. It’s pulling at my little queer midwestern heartstrings to read magical Paul navigate desire and friendship in his body that he can change into whatever shape or sex he wants.

The book that changed my life
In my freshman year at college I was given a copy of Smoking Lovely by Willie Perdomo, and it was the first time I had seen a book of poetry. Perdomo’s poems helped me make sense of the addiction that lived in my family and me, while also showing me how alive poems could be on the page.

Douglas Kearney’s sensibilities are wild and inspired my own wildness to grow

Related: Danez Smith becomes youngest winner of Forward poetry prize

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