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Aaron Smith: The Book of Daniel
April 28, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDTFree
Aaron Smith discusses his new poetry collection, The Book of Daniel, with sam sax and Randall Mann.
Praise for The Book of Daniel
“Smith’s poems expound a complicated and distinctly queer relationship to beauty. . . . He levels a caustic wit at the pantheons of pop culture and modern poetry, but also strikes resounding notes of hurt and rage at homophobia, misogyny, rejection, and loss.”
–The New Yorker
“Aaron Smith writes with arresting, melancholy literalness about bruises, exaltations, arousals, delectations, and defeats. He doesn’t mess around with filigree. He sticks to abject delineation, punchy straightforwardness—a new way of being formal and naked. I believe in these gripping poems, and in their message to the world.”– Wayne Koestenbaum
“‘Does anyone have / a poem to Cher?’ I doubt it’s as honest or fresh as the poems in The Book of Daniel. Can a poet be as well-versed in Plath, Lorde, Olds, and Baraka as he is in celebrity and pop culture? Spoiler alert: hell, yeah. With the gift of a high-speed Internet connection, Smith maneuvers the confusing messages of grief, rejection, and, yes, contemporary poetry. Poets beware: you are not off the hook. Smith brilliantly challenges everything you hold sacred.”– Yona Harvey
About The Book of Daniel
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.