Blue on Blue Ground (Pitt Poetry Series) (Paperback)

By Aaron Smith

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822958888, 96pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2005

List Price: 17.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Winner of the 2004 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

Blue on Blue Ground is about the body, desire, anxiety, and obsession—how what we want redeems and isolates us (and is sometimes used against us).  These poems are artful yet accessible, lyrical yet direct, strange but recognizable.

Smith’s relentless self-examination, fear, sense of humor, and vulnerability are all laid to bare in crisp, precise language. From lonely observations, bizarre medical fascinations, emotion, loss, and honesty, Blue on Blue Ground constructs its internal and external worlds.

The metaphorical city is also a “body,” a place of exile and restoration, a symbol of hope, a catalyst for connection.  The urban landscape is often the background for the moment or is the moment itself—the world looked at and sorted into words.

Though at times dark, there’s love to be found. Perhaps it’s what drives this collection, colors its observations, and leads it to finally announce: “Someone is putting the world back together.”  <I>Blue on Blue Ground</I> wants to look at absolutely everything and believes that complete exploration of the physical and mental selves—fears and desires—is the key to moving and being completely alive in the material world.

About the Author

Aaron Smith is the author of What's Required, winner of the 2003 Frank O'Hara Award Chapbook Contest.  His work has appeared in many publications including:  Bloom, 5 AM, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, and Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets.  He lives in New York City.

Praise For Blue on Blue Ground (Pitt Poetry Series)

“Aaron Smith has a remarkable gift as a poet, just that what he writes finds form as simply and as clearly as someone's saying hello. . . I would call him a natural if I did not know how consciously he takes hold in his art. . . . Aaron Smith speaks with a rare grace, truly.”
—Robert Creeley

“Aaron Smith's Blue on Blue Ground is a sensuous poetry, a poetry about the complexities of both the psyche and the body. . . . Matt Damon, Cher, Brad Pitt, and even Jesus (as action figure and subject of a kitschy Web site) weave into a 'real' life, a life underneath a flashy and comic surface, a life without artifice.”
—Denise Duhamel

“How entertaining to read this poet's litany of doubts and anxieties! It's awesome how he peels off his skin-he flinches plenty, but operates on himself heroically.  . . .You emerge from these poems feeling cleansed.  Aaron Smith convinces us, powerfully, that this is what poetry is for.”
—Edward Field