A remarkable poetry collection with "inextinguishable generosity and abundant wisdom" (Monica Youn) from Clint Smith, the #1 New York Times bestselling and National Book Critics Circle award-winning author of How the Word Is Passed.

Product Code: 9107
ISBN: 9780316543033
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 128
Published Date: 03/28/2023
Availability:In stock
Price: $27.00

Clint Smith’s vibrant and compelling new collection traverses the vast emotional terrain of fatherhood, and explores how becoming a parent has recalibrated his sense of the world. There are poems that interrogate the ways our lives are shaped by both personal lineages and historical institutions. There are poems that revel in the wonder of discovering the world anew through the eyes of your children, as they discover it for the first time. There are poems that meditate on what it means to raise a family in a world filled with constant social and political tumult.

Above Ground wrestles with how we hold wonder and despair in the same hands, how we carry intimate moments of joy and a collective sense of mourning in the same body. Smith’s lyrical, narrative poems bring the reader on a journey not only through the early years of his children’s lives, but through the changing world in which they are growing up—through the changing world of which we are all a part.

Above Ground is a breathtaking collection that follows Smith's first award-winning book of poetry, Counting Descent.

Bookmark and Share

“I think there is an emergent theory, and maybe also a demand, when Clint Smith considers the brutalizing facts and language of war almost alongside a reverie about sprinkling sand on his baby’s feet; when he mourns the long and brutal and ongoing history of American slavery almost alongside making French toast with the kids or dancing until the whole family falls down. When he makes us witness the most incomprehensibly awful (and daily) brutalities not only beside but almost in tandem with the most incomprehensibly tender (and daily) actions of care. It’s a theory, and a demand, to which I think we must pay very close attention.”?Ross Gay, author of Inciting Joy

“Clint Smith is a brilliant poet, one who knows ‘we are not all left / standing after the war has ended. Some of us have become ghosts,’ who knows that ‘you come from the parachute that didn't open -- / and then did.’—and who finds words to sing and to mourn, and to see us for who we are. Here is a poet who offers wisdom that ‘our bodies have / always been inexplicable vessels of energy we can / not control,’ and despite that (or perhaps because of it), also offers grace. This is a beautiful, vivid book, where ‘grandfather is a fist / full of embers’ and a dance party becomes a life-giving ceremony, and Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years away, is a reason enough to spark an love note. Much to love in this poetry collection, lyric keeping us above the ground, rooted into our world, blessed to be alive, despite it all. Clint Smith is a marvelous poet.”?Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

“I’m so grateful that Clint Smith’s poems remind us of our interdependence on each other—on chrysanthemums, jellyfish, plankton, to note just a few of his magnificent poetic negotiations—all while turning his wide and generous eyes to fatherhood. This book is an illumination I sorely needed of both the outdoors and the quotidian—a joyful embrace and legacy of bright language and poignant questions.”?Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders

“Clint Smith’s poems make palpable the soap-bubble thinness of borders—the contingent boundaries of love and loss, past and present, sanctuary and violence, ‘us’ and ‘them.’ With inextinguishable generosity and abundant wisdom, he shows us the linkages that both bind and divide us—as family, as community, as nation, as world: ‘The river that gives us water to drink is the same one that might wash us away.’ I am so grateful for these luminous poems. ?Monica Youn, author of Blackacre

“Clint’s Smith’s Above Ground gives us one of our most urgent writers at the height of his powers. With these poems, Smith’s crystalline lyric illuminates every word with love’s deep regard. It’s so nourishing, the scope and hope and breadth of Smith’s tenderness. I recommend this book for everyone who has ever been a parent or a child, in love or beloved. I recommend it to everyone who has ever felt like a stranger inside of history, inside of a nation, or inside their own heart.”?Kaveh Akbar, author of Pilgrim Bell

"A gorgeous book...Smith’s pivots and pacing mirror the routes of our lives, and his gentle, attentive poems are downright sacramental....I appreciate poets like Smith who turn the page between hope and loss, fear and exuberance."?Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions

"When poet and Atlantic staff writer Clint Smith became a dad, it changed how he saw the world. With his second book of poetry, the father of two attempts to put all of his complicated feelings surrounding parenthood into perspective. Whether it be the utter joy of watching his children make new discoveries or the heartbreak of knowing you can’t always protect your little ones from social injustice, the author of How the Word is Passed doesn’t sugarcoat the emotional rollercoaster that most parents are on. Above Ground is a beautiful meditation not only on Smith’s own journey as a dad, but also on the effect our ever-changing world has on the way we raise our children."?Time, "23 Most Anticipated Books of 2023"

Be the first to submit a review on this product!
Review and Rate this Item

You might also be interested in: