The Book of Daniel

Aaron Smith is queer poetry’s lacerating, arch, self-aware satirist in the age of poetry-branding, ‘everyone / saying they’re brilliant.’ (If Smith had a brand, it might read, No more being peaceful, as he writes at the end of ‘I Pledge Allegiance to the Fag.’). The poems in The Book of Daniel, damaged and violent and intimate, wryly circumspect, demand nothing—certainly not admiration—other than the reader’s unflinching attention. I admire them, and get the hell out of their way.
Randall Mann

A tour de force, Aaron Smith’s fourth collection of poetry, The Book of Daniel, resists the easy satisfactions of Beauty while managing the contemporary entanglements of art, sex, and grief. Part pop-thriller, part queer rage, and part mourning, these poems depict not only the complications of representation in the age of social media but a critique of identity. Taking on subjects as diverse as the literary canon, his mother’s incurable cancer diagnosis, gay bashing, celebrity gossip, bigotry, violence on TV, and Alexander McQueen’s suicide, Smith proves that the confessional lyric is not dead. In tangents as wild as they are reigned, with his characteristic blend of directness, vulnerability and humor, these poems take on the world as it is, a world we love even as it resists all intimacy.

80 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

October, 2019

isbn : 9780822965961

about the author

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Primer, Appetite, and Blue on Blue Ground, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Ploughshares and Best American Poetry. A three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, he is the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Mass Cultural Council. He is associate professor of creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Aaron Smith