Author Archives: R.T. Smith

About R.T. Smith

Writer-in-Residence R.T. Smith reads from his work at Hillel House.R. T. Smith has edited Shenandoah since 1995. His newest book is Chinquapins: Short Short Stories (2015)

 

Team Trump and Not MY LITTLE PONY: Kidnapping Language

(7/19/16) Most Americans get exercised over plagiarism only when one rock band (like Led Zepp) is suing another over lyrics or melody, or when a scolding note comes home from Hunter’s or Kendle’s teacher, and there are as many popular … Continue reading

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Dulcimer Redux

I was raised a flatlander (“cracker,” we used to say), a mouth-harp wheezer, and did not come to the mountain dulcimer on the porch or in the parlor.  Instead, I read of Coleridge’s “Abyssinian maid” with a dulcimer on Mt. … Continue reading

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Narration & Invention: THE GOOD LORD BIRD, Part 2

James McBride’s GLB is a wild ride, part historical novel, part fantasy, legend, cultural core sample, narrative experiment, part stylistic stunt.  In short, it is not a realistic account or a psychological revelation.  Though it employs facts, often as backdrop, … Continue reading

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Of John Brown, the Onion, Woodpeckers and Peckerwoods: McBride’s novel THE GOOD LORD BIRD

I delight in reading about the ivory bill woodpecker and pine to see one in flight or hammering away.  Unfortunately, they’re evidently extinct, according to all but the most optimistic lost-cause birders.  Fortunately, however, a pair of pileated woodpeckers – … Continue reading

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Here a Quack, There a Quack (a whimsy)

The current media blitzkrieg reminds me of a time when the American icon called Donald was a duck.  A Disney character often scolding or combating his cricket-capped nephews Huey, Dewy and Louie or some other zoomorphic nemesis, that Donald wore … Continue reading

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I’m Nobody

June already, moon and croon, the peepers singing their tune in the trees, the understory, the pond, ubiquitous and to my untrained ear, only slightly melodic, but my iota of biological understanding insinuates they’re saying their names, or some version … Continue reading

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Peregrinations

Peregrinations November 30th. . Two kills by the river: kingfisher and snipe.  The snipe lay half submerged in flooded grass, cryptic even in death.  The kingfisher shone even in mud at the river’s edge, like a brilliant eye.   When … Continue reading

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Red River: Texas, Massachusetts and Home Again (Part two of a rubicund blog)

(for Part 1, scroll down past part the second)) Stanza the Second I have not forgotten.  Rubicon.  Here’s the rub.  The Red River, which is also a Texas border and part of the legendary geography of Old West cattle drives, … Continue reading

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Red River (Before the HowardHawksJohnWayne western) in Two Inpertinent Parts

  Stanza the First. [rub icon?] I have discovered that “Rubicon” now names a style of semi-compact faux-rugged soft-top Jeep and yet another failed TV series about espionage, but not many people in my neighborhood still use the phrase “crossing … Continue reading

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Ivory Kings/ Stern Beauty and a Rich History in Chess

When I ordered the erudite Nancy Marie Brown’s Ivory Vikings (St. Martins, 2015), I just meant to scratch little itch, satisfy a whimsical curiosity. Years ago when I was a dedicated chess stumblebum I learned about the Isle of Lewis … Continue reading

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