Smartish Pace Editor Stephen Reichert nominated Laurel Hunt, and her poem "Glass," and D.M. Macormic, and his poem "Identity Theft," for Best New Poets 2017. SP nominations have won in ... [ read more ]
The Good Contrivance Farm Residency provides a 1200 square foot barn loft apartment on a small, historic farm in central Maryland, 25 miles north of Baltimore. It's run by our ... [ read more ]
Debra Nystrom, Smartish Pace Reading - VABook! 2009
Debra Nystrom reading for Smartish Pace at the Virginia Festival of the Book, March 19, 2009. Introduction by Smartish Pace Editor Stephen Reichert.
STEPHEN REICHERT: First off, thank you for agreeing to do this interview despite the busyness of your semester. I'd like to begin with your origins and influences. What was it about your upbringing that led to your life as a poet? STEPHEN CUSHMAN: I can think of two ways to answer this question. The first would be to reel off some autobiographical facts that might account for a love of language and literature. My father was a professor of American literature, my mother a librarian, so I grew up in a verbal household, one in which both talking and reading (or at first being read to) occupied a large share of my time. But these autobiographical facts only help to explain literacy; they don't explain why someone who grew up in such a household would choose writing in addition to reading, and they don't explain why such a person would choose to write verse rather than prose. To account for those developments is much harder. I know that I began to write poems in high school, and I suspect that I wrote them for much the same reason other people in high ... [ read more ]
The folks who say you can't judge a book by the cover know that, much of the time, you can. Phoenix Rising, for instance, offers a cover image at odds with its title: a seagull with a big dead mullet washed up at its feet. How is this even remotely related to a phoenix besides that it's a bird with its wings in the air? There's also some sort of black line running through the ... [ read more ]