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Bluff by Danez Smith
Poetry Book Society Recommendation Autumn 2024
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Published 8th August 2024. Available for pre-order.

Written during the time the world came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Minneapolis became the epicentre of protest following the murder of George Floyd, Bluff is Danez Smith’s powerful reckoning with their responsibility as a poet and with their hometown.

Smith brings a startling urgency to these poems, their questions demanding a new language, new textual shapes and a deep self-scrutiny. Ars poetica gives way to 'ars america'. A photographic collage makes clear the consequence of accepting mass shootings. A brilliant long poem maps the history of Minneapolis-Saint Paul’s vibrant Rondo neighbourhood, before and after officials decided to run an interstate directly through it.

Bluff is a manifesto about artistic resilience when the places we most love – those given and made – are burning. In this collection, Smith turns to honesty, hope, rage and imagination to envision futures that seem possible.

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