Poetry. For over a decade, Abraham Smith has been pouring out into the night of American poetry a brilliantly made, variegated song. Smith's jangling, brainy, tonically surprising and lyrically cornucopic work is undoubtedly influential but ultimately inimitable. In this his fourth book, Smith confects an entire mythic system, singing into existence a universe made of the ruins of the last one, whatever's lying around the yard. ASHAGALOMANCY shows us the poet at the height of his powers, a poet of reach, tenderness, ambition, a gimlet eye and a vatic voice. "towards his day job so much trip stiffness / until one warms into the working / and then it's like swimming and then it's like milking the / eyes of the kinder dead to repaint these rooms" Praise for Abraham Smith: "Mash Gertrude Stein with agrarian folk and you have the unholy matrimony of Abraham Smith's debut, WHIM MAN MAMMON." Cathy Park Hong "If Frank Stanford got up from the dead to slam (and slammed to win), what he would say might well resemble the poems in WHIM MAN MAMMON. That said, Abe Smith's got his own lizard thing going on here: No resurrection required. This is deft work-and hefty work (as in big and as in bag)-that squeezes gallon after gallon of the 21st century's natural and cultural detritus into one marvelous sack of song. To my mind, it's the most useful writing from a Wisconsinite since Joe Garden's window signs at Badger Liquor. There is no higher compliment." Graham Foust "Here is a magnificent transmission, designed from both way back and way ahead, to be read and read again." Blake Butler "In an era of overpolished workshop poems and vague, bloodless experiment, Abraham Smith's HANK risks a caterwauling quagmire both lyric and epic in scope, replete with 18 kinds of loneliness. It belongs only to the future of American poetry." Joshua Marie Wilkinson " H]is is the ontology of the sacred juke." Tim Earley"
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