Press for Good Bones

Reviews

Publisher’s Weekly

“In this collection titled for a poem that became an unlikely viral sensation, Smith follows The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison by exploring the sensorium mothers and children share in a place where ‘deer still find their way to the backyard.’ Suburban as it may be, strangeness and terror manifest in this setting, while surreal sound and color imbue the ordinary with surprising affect, as in the ‘glitter-black overlap of shingles’ or ‘lit/ windows painting yellow Rothkos on the water.’ The collection features many meditations—on past and future, life and death—but the ones that stand out revolve around motherhood, particularly the magic and trauma of motherhood and motherlessness.” Read more

The Millions

“Come for Smith’s viral title poem, but stay for her range as she builds a notable collection, one suffused with grace, and—dare I say it—hope. Poems like “First Fall” make her narrators feel like careful guides, each line a gesture, a lesson: “The first time you see / something die, you won’t know it might / come back. I’m desperate for you / to love the world because I brought you here.” This book is full of wonders. Of sky: “As you move through it, you make a tunnel / in the precise size and shape of your body.” Of the past: “The chairs are empty. The children / are unwrapping golden butterscotches / in the cool, shuttered houses.” Of the wisdom that comes from grief: “Where do you carry your dead? . . . what cut shape is made / whole by opening? I mean besides the heart.” Good Bones breathes mystical, pastoral wind, while also hitting notes of longing. The world has to be falling apart—it has to be a place where the narrator might ask “Where is your voice now…What has the land done to your tongue?”—in order for us and our words to lift it back up.” Read more

 


Interviews

The Rumpus

Coming soon!

Full Stop

“There’s an intimacy to Good Bones that feels well-worn, like a barstool, a baseball glove. When you are inside these poems, there is nowhere else to be, because, like anything specific that grazes the subject of the universal, you’re everywhere at once. Maggie and I talked about her new collection, the surprise of children, the poetry of place, and much more.” Read more


Press

The Washington Post

“It’s impossible to know how many people have read the poem, though one estimate in August put the number at nearly a million. The poem has been interpreted into a dance by a troupe in India, turned into a musical score for the voice and harp and been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Korean, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Closer to home, Smith says that she has gotten many requests for the work to appear in church bulletins and for her to read it aloud. “It’s my ‘Freebird,’ ” she jokes.”  Read more

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