Today, we celebrate the release of People You Know, Places You’ve Been by Hana Shafi and Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith!
People You Know, Places You’ve Been, the latest illustrated poetry collection from Hana Shafi, examines the unlikely connections we make to the everyday people and places we encounter. These poems are whimsical and humourous, full of empathy and vulnerability, while also examining some gritty truths about urban dwelling. Shafi is also the author of Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World, and It Begins with the Body.
Akin to a poetic memoir, Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith is about growing up and growing into a queer life. These poems explore family relations and legacy, including the family we are born into and chosen family. Not unlike Shafi’s latest book, Queers Like Me examines vulnerable subjects such as the loss of a parent and growing up queer in a small town, but is also full of humour, love, and empathy.
Shafi and Smith each shared a video to introduce readers to their new books. Enjoy!
Advance Praise for People You Know, Places You’ve Been
“A spellbinding collection of poems and drawings that thoughtfully describes the discomfort and beauty of everyday life. Shafi skillfully pairs humour and tenderness to depict familiar people and places through a lens of nostalgia, rage, and feminist thought.” —Ambivalently Yours, author of Fire and Other Feelings
“A touching and engaging collection of everyday moments and connections seen through the viewfinder of Hana Shafi’s glorious and immensely creative mind. A joy to read.” —Farzana Doctor, author of You Still Look the Same
“In this collection of poetry and visual art, hazy telephone poles against sky-rise buildings are a sight of beauty, a diner down the road has the best breakfast, and a subway commute is a scene from a movie…. Shafi’s words guide us to ‘romanticize your ugly life’ and to ‘think of small blessings / as grand gestures.’ In this collection, and the world Shafi creates, ‘loving you is so wonderfully easy.’” —Manahil Bandukwala, author of MONUMENT
Advance Praise for Queers Like Me
“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.” —Jordan Abel, Griffin Poetry Prize–winning author of Injun and NISHGA
“In poems at once charming in tone and yet devastating in subtext, rollicking in language and dignified in what is said as well as what remains unspoken, Queers Like Me explores the nature of family, place, and belonging from the perspective of a life lived on the artistic edge.” —George Murray, author of Problematica: New and Selected Poems
“A verse memoir from several perspectives of identity, Queers Like Me is a faceted lexicon of Smith’s experience of grief, desire, alienation, aging, and happiness.” —Sharon Thesen, author of The Wig-Maker
“Smith is a smart and generous writer, and it shows here. His meditations on topics as varied as his childhood love for his grandparents and his tendency to speak to everything in the world (including, comically, ‘a squished banana’ in “Braiding Sweetgrass”) showcase his humour without ever undercutting the deeper meaning to be discovered in his and others’ experiences.” —Carellin Brooks, British Columbia Review
Thank you for reading, and please join us again in wishing a very Happy Book Birthday to People You Know, Places You’ve Been by Hana Shafi and Queers Like Me by Michael V. Smith. Both books are available now from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore. Happy reading!
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