Born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1977, Maggie Smith is the author of Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award, and two prizewinning chapbooks, Nesting Dolls (Pudding House) and The List of Dangers (Kent State University Press). The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, a National Poetry Series finalist, is forthcoming from Gold Wake Press in 2014.
Smith’s poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, Court Green, and many other journals. Her work has also been included in anthologies such as From the Other World: Poems in Memory of James Wright, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2008, Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, and The Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices from the Academy of American Poets University & College Prizes, Volume 9.
Smith holds a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She has taught creative writing as the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College and has blogged for The Kenyon Review. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received three Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, and a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives with her husband and two children in Bexley, Ohio, where she works as a freelance writer and editor.
Wren Songs (from The List of Dangers)
It’s an installation: Wrens pinned like brooches
to the trees, singing, their eyes glass beads.
Shake a branch, be wary of what falls.
In the unofficial spring, sunshine plays xylophone
on the lawn. The trebly notes are mouths
singing oh, oh, oh. A paper boat leads
the children downstream, through countless
shades of green—spring, grass, moss, forest.
Praise for Lamp of the Body
In Lamp of the Body, Maggie Smith illuminates nothing less than the opportunities for and the possibilities of poetic utterance. Her themes—landscape, loss, and western myth—are richly classic; her language, sensuous and elegant. Primitive and visionary, exacting and unrestrained, these poems are in possession of a good strangeness, an awful nostalgia that irrevocably transforms the now.