Smith’s debut collection, A Gospel of Bones, is an exploration of internal dialogue and survival guide as the poet examines and contends with the politics of biracial black womanhood, love, sex, single motherhood, family, violence, poverty, and most of all, prayer.
A Gospel of Bones includes poems that crisply and lyrically examine the poet’s own gospels. Smith’s writing is breathtaking and devastating at times, welcoming and affirming in others. In “We Pay Cash for Houses”, Smith uses contrapuntal to illustrate the grief and displacement caused by gentrification. In “This Crown Crooked Anyway”, a crown of American sonnets, Smith offers a narrative on faith, violence, love, divorce, grief, policing, with the racial dynamics threaded throughout. The poems are an offering of unflinching and fierce determination to tell the good stories, the hidden stories, the hard stories, and all that endures after the telling.
“We Pay Cash for Houses” (a contrapuntal). Suspect Press. February 2018.
Mixed Taste Series 1-7. Denver Center. August 2017.
“Maybe It’s the End of the World, and Maybe That’s Fine, Maybe That’s Fine.” Suspect Press. November 2016.
“Sweetback”. Black Poets Speak Out Anthology, published by No Dear. February 2016.
“On Taking Vows”. La Palabra: The Word is a Woman. January 2014.
“My Father’s Hands”. Muzzle Magazine. November 2013.
“The Rendering”. Denver Syntax.
Thirteen Descansos is a collection of poems by Suzi Q. Smith that is available from Penmanship Books. Inspired by a writing prompt from the incomparable Patricia Smith, the poems explore the carving out of an identity during the first thirteen years of life.