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.” —Jordan Abel, Griffin Poetry Prize–winning author of Injun and NISHGA
“Michael V. Smith is Canada’s answer to Frank O’Hara. 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. A warm, witty-tragic tale told in lineated conversational intimacy, with lines like ‘I’m a bit emotionally barren / with some singing and dancing / thrown in,’ this confessional/anti-confessional text feels like a friend you could talk to about anything.” —Sharon Thesen, author of The Wig-Maker
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“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, The British Columbia Review