Fall 2023 Poetry Preview: Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith | Book*hug Press

Fall 2023 Poetry Preview: Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith

Today’s Fall Poetry Previews features Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith!

Confessional and immersive, Michael V. Smith’s latest collection is a broad tapestry that explores growing up queer and working class, then growing into an urban queer life.

In these poems, we are immersed in the world of a young Smith as he shares the awkward dinners, the funerals, and the uncertainty of navigating fraught dynamics, bringing us into these most intimate moments of family life while outrunning deep grief. Smith moves from first home to first queer experiences: teenage crushes, video cameras, post-club hookups, fears and terrors, closeted lovers, and daydreams of confronting your childhood bully.

Queers Like Me is an enveloping book—a meditation on family complexity and a celebration of personal insight.

“Michael V. Smith’s Queers Like Me is a beautiful, funny, honest book. There were so many moments when I felt a loving kinship with Smith through queerness, through family, through home. Each page feels alive and so deeply human. This is a book to read and to be read through—a brilliant dive into belonging,” writes Jordan Abel, Griffin Poetry Prize–winning author of Injun and NISHGA.

We’re happy to share an introduction from Michael V. Smith!

In addition, we’ve selected a few short poems from the collection to share with you today. Queers Like Me will be released on October 12, 2023, and is available for pre-order from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore.


if you read books as a kid

because they were safe

places to have feelings


Future Perfect

They tried to make me

ashamed of the person

I would have become

but the medicine for that

was becoming the person

I became.



the cupped palm

of my grandfather

in the garden

teaching me

to curl

my own


the raspberry

to make

my hand

a bowl

Michael V. Smith has published six previous books, which include three collections of poetry, a memoir, and two novels. Also an award-winning filmmaker, drag queen, and professor, Smith teaches at UBC Okanagan, in Kelowna, BC, where he lives with his brilliant husband.

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