Author Archives: R.T. Smith

About R.T. Smith

recent-meR. T. Smith has edited Shenandoah since 1995 and serves as Writer-in-Residence at Washington & Lee. His forthcoming books are Doves in Flight: 13 Fictions and Summoning Shades: New Poems, both due in 2017.

 

Son of Blade

by Chris Gavaler Tim Seibles cuts straight to the heart. When I met him at his hotel to walk him over to my wife’s poetry class, conversation leapt from “nice weather” to “parents with Alzheimer’s” in a single bound. He … Continue reading

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Dynamite Decision: Kudos to Robert, Gordon, Seamus, Akira, Alfred and All

When, some fifteen years ago, Gordon Ball began nominating Robert Zimmerman for the Alfred Nobel Prize in Literature, I was skeptical.  I had my own favorites (Heaney had left the list by winning in 1995) and some questions about the … Continue reading

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SLIPSTREAM: Making the Familiar Strange (Part 1)

By Dana Schultz “Telling me a piece should make me ‘feel strange, like living in the late twentieth century’ doesn’t do a lot for me, mainly because the twentieth century didn’t make me feel strange.” – Jon Hansen, “I Want … Continue reading

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The Official Plea to Bring Back Traditional Courtship in Fiction

BY MADDIE SCHAFFER I’m lying on my stomach, starting to get that prickly needle feeling in my back from a lack of SPF.  The swarms of kids squealing and splashing are just white noise as I chew my way through … Continue reading

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We Live in Blank by Lesley Wheeler

It’s September in an election year, so while students in classrooms argue about poetry with surprising heat, my electronic screens are occupied by one political candidate jokingly suggesting the assassination of another. An African-American boy was shot and killed, this … Continue reading

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Meditations on Grad School, by Annie Persons

  In her poem “Hashem,” Leah Green reminds us: “all there is to do is offer our own dust, / held together in the holding, / and, small lunged, / live our lives breathing.” With those words in mind, I … Continue reading

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“Denotation and the Mind at Play”

Although I lack the commitment to neo-platonism and romanticism that leads readers and writers to believe that the poem on the page is inevitably (as Ben Lerner suggests in The Hatred of Poetry)   a failure, a lesser poem (you can’t … Continue reading

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The Hatred of Poetry, Part 2

2. “I dwell in Possibility” I’m most likely to feel animosity toward poetry when I’ve just spent some time with the New Yorker or a finalist for some national prize, and maybe envy is part of the equation, but not … Continue reading

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The Hatred of Poetry: Ben Lerner’s Book, in Two Posts

The Hatred of Poetry: Ben Lerner’s book, in Two Posts   1. “I, too, dislike it”: Poems Doomed to Fail? “I dwell in Possibility,” “the thing with feathers” 1.”I, too….” [Before I begin to examine the exhibit under scrutiny, I … Continue reading

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In a Yellow Wood

Although I pretty much know it by heart (or at least by memory), I’ve never been a devotee of Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”  Among his shorter poems, give me “Stopping by Woods . . . ,” “Design,” “Provide, Provide,” … Continue reading

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