W&L’s Smith publishes latest poetry collection

Rod T. SmithRod T. Smith, former editor of Washington and Lee’s Shenandoah and retired writer-in-residence, has published more than a dozen collections of poetry in his lifetime, many during his 23 years at W&L, and has twice been included in “The Best American Poetry.”

Smith’s most recent book of poetry, “Summoning Shades,” is described by publisher Mercer University Press as a collection that brings to life voices of the past “in monologues and narratives figures from history and recollection, all rendered with careful attention to the idiom, customs, emotions, and ironies of their time and region.”

Some of the voices in the poems include those of Mary Todd Lincoln, Ambrose Bierce and Meriwether Lewis.

“It’s one thing to know history, it’s another to recreate it, call it up, and invite you to the party. I loved this book,” said Alice Friman, author of “The View from Saturn.”

In writing the collection, Smith drew from historical sources and used his imagination and empathy to bring the voices of the past to life.

“Among the many pleasures offered in ’Summoning Shades,’ as in each of R.T. Smith’s collections, are the many years of his generous attention to nature, to the richness of Southern language and life, to music, and much more,” said Don Selby, editor of Poetry Daily.

Read more about Smith’s latest collection here.

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