Chosen Companions of the Goblin, winner of the 2018 Open Country Press Chapbook Contest, chosen by Heather Cahoon
Drawing on the lives of the Fox Sisters, whose work spurred the American Spiritualism Movement of the late 19th century, Chosen Companions of the Goblin “echo(es) the era of revivalist evangelical movements and the fracturing of the Protestant moral landscape into new denominations and ways of believing,” says contest judge Heather Cahoon. Using documentary poetics, erasure, list poems, and persona, the poems reflect on “the real and metaphorical silencing of women” as they explore a world where these young sisters “managed to amplify their voice in a time when women were largely without one.”
Chosen Companions of the Goblin is available from Open Country Press.
Book of Exodus, Scablands Books, 2017
In language poet Laurie Lamon calls “both spare and sumptuous,” Book of Exodus narrates the imagined experiences of the Lykov family, who lived for 40 years in the Russian taiga, utterly isolated from society. Smith’s debut collection examines wilderness, loneliness, and faith in poems that author Nance Van Winckel says “allow entry, or re-entry, to primal selves, we who once roamed a forest, ate of its bounty, and fought its beasts. And yes, in the best sense, the book also seems—as a marvelous abecedarian poem’s title proclaims—a ‘Rehearsal for the Apocalypse.’”