About the Book
"Ari Banias is one of the best living poets, and this book in your hands is our proof. Anybody
is the courage of a poet who trusts the strength of poetry to make room in our world for everybody." --CAConrad
In Anybody, Ari Banias takes up questions of recognition and belonging: how boundaries are drawn and managed, the ways he and she, us and them, here and elsewhere are kept separate, and at what cost identities and selves are forged. Moving through iconic and imagined landscapes, Anybody confronts the strangeness of being alive and of being a restlessly gendered, queer, emotive body. Wherever the poet turns--the cruising spaces of Fire Island, a city lake, a Greek island, a bodega-turned-coffee-shop--he finds the charge of boundedness and signification, the implications of what it means to be a this instead of a that. Witty, tender, and original, these poems pierce the constructs that define our lives.
[Anybody] is the portrait of an inner life that asks itself steadily how anybody or any body can be said to be anybody--girl, boy, fox...This charming, chattering young self is preoccupied with...poignant absences.-- "American Poets"
Ari Banias's Anybody
is a book that acknowledges a boundary, escapes it, and redefines it.-- "Lambda Literary"
Banias poses questions of identity and belonging in his striking debut...In lines alternately straight-talking and philosophical, Banias asks what it means to be 'a white dude' in our country, to be educated and privileged but still 'a fake man.'-- "San Francisco Chronicle"
Born late in the twentieth century, tutored under the twin suns of Frank O'Hara and Guillaume Apollinaire, vexed by 'this set of meanings on my body, ' Ari Banias is a poet for this hour--bewildered, hopeful, and cracklingly alive, a citizen of the possible. How many utopias? (keep imagining them)
Here is Anybody
with its syntax of rupture and suture, its restless questions and metaphysical balloons. What a thrilling, original, generous, openhearted book. A book we have waited for, whoever we are.--Donna Masini
I'm so impressed by the range and grace of Ari Banias' Anybody
. It's discursive, straight-talking, and thinky, then ghostlike, elliptical, and mischievous. It takes its time, then rushes; it's quiet, then bold; it's steeped in sociality, then ringing with solitude. I happily recognize its arrival, even if I know (as does Banias, quoting Berlant) that recognition may be but the misrecognition we can bear.--Maggie Nelson
One of the most unique voices I have ever heard in a first book...through all its interstates of narrative, candor, and image, [Anybody
] presents an intersectional cross section of the American lyric, providing the reader with many occasions for joy, for remembering, for 'time to quiet down.'-- "Kenyon Review"
This collection takes quick-witted brushstrokes as it tackles societal boundaries, then slows down to meditate on the minutiae of the spaces that define us and the inaccessible spaces, too...[Anybody
] can be read in one existential sitting, but it begs to be reread many times over.-- "Chicago Review of Books"
To speak any truth that can resonate beyond the particularities of their position, a poet must understand every particularity of that position, and all the forces that intersect to determine their view of the world. Banias is such a poet. It is questions about what constitutes the lyric and the universal...that drive his debut collection forward, and his readers into a more expansive, fully considered future.-- "Fanzine"
Ari Banias has written one of the finest first books (OK, any book!) that I've ever read...These poems stake a claim on the future: they give us a poet who understands to the bone how syntax and line and music embody emotion, and how the integrity of the spirit is the maker's integrity.--Tom Sleigh