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- ALA Booklist
Aaron Smith writes with more provocativeness and compassion than any poet of his generation.
In Primer, Aaron Smith has not only upped the ante, he’s been penetrated and eviscerated by it...The collection throbs with sex and the death wish, but also with wit and an exhilarative rage. This book makes me want to live bareback, to write ever more recklessly….
Shame is the crux, in Smith’s austere poems; an aching, inescapable force that closes the gay boy into his own body, making sex abject, until ‘there’s not enough city // to fill you up.’ The world may have changed, but we can’t help but carry into the new life the ineradicable weight of the past.
These poems rev, glow, fume, and explode with every hard, true line.
[R]eaders may find their paths illuminated by [Smith’s] flickering light.