“There’s simply– and also not so simply– more life in this poetry than in almost all the other poetry that isn’t this poetry; more life, and more kinds of life, and more slivers and slices, the kind whose savor and importance poetry helps you recognize, whether it’s a sensory impression, wrought with all seven senses alert, or good wry advice: ‘Parents are running a three-legged race,’ for example, or ‘you always pay as we go,’ or ‘the longer you drive,/ the more you have to get back home.’ Here are real towns, real families, real jokes, real fears, real ‘bicycles/ with training wheels,’ ‘a zone of green yards’ with ‘a spit-shine of black granite,’ and (coming indoors, with bears, so not quite domestic) ‘a sudden slight dip in the bathtub temperature.’ Here are bad cookies, good apologies, and a really supple language that can helix its way around and above whatever life can throw at the singular poet involved. Let the poems come to you at home. They’ll stay.”
“David Blair, whose first book, Ascension Days, blew more than a few minds, is a wholly original American poet– his poems yammer and jam, they aria and catalogue and whine, combining kaleidoscopic perceptual and social detail with a sensibility that is smart, canny, but affectionate. If Frank O’Hara and James Schuyler were available these days, they might manage the kind of clear-eyed and street savvy impressionism that Blair possesses. He is here though, and they are not, and he raves, moonwalks, and bebops through these mean streets with a life force and contemporary bravado which is its own meaning. This is poetry owned by no aesthetic party or posse, yet which somehow includes them all.”
Praise for Friends with Dogs:
“As in his wonderful celebratory poems in his previous books, these new poems celebrate the joys and plights of being citizens of a particular place and in a particular family, with bodies that are our own and individual but, being human, are also representative. He has this sense of how each one of us is one of us, and now this is so is brilliantly represented in these poems. I’m lost in admiration of the verve and pace of his lines, the energy and wit, the capacity for what I would call sympathetic pathos; and of how the poems convey their own joy in the experience of being written — and said, his language and its rhythms full of the sensations of actual speech.”
David Blair’s first book Ascension Days was chosen by Thomas Lux for the 2007 Del Sol Poetry Prize, and he is also the author ofFriends with Dogs (Sheep Meadow Press, 2016). He has taught at the New England Institute of Art, the online graduate program in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and in the MFA Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter, and he has degrees from Fordham University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.