Author Archives: Jessica Smith

About Jessica Smith

about.me/jessicasmith

Review of mnemotechnics

With each line as deliberate as a brushstroke, Smith constructs scenes on standalone details, which – like the birds she muses – contribute insights best when taken as a flock. Ryan Pratt in Ottawa Poetry Newsletter Advertisements

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New poems in N/A

Some new excerpts from my ongoing birds/memories project are in the first issue of N/A, Ed. Amish Trivedi.

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A new poem in aesthetix, a poetry journal that provides constraints. In this case, poems were to be titled “800.” Ed. Molly Brodak

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Creativity is something that is inherent in everyone….

Creativity is something that is inherent in everyone, but it gets beaten down a lot in our production-focused educational and economic systems. The library remains a democratizing and nurturing environment where creativity can thrive. New Boog City (.pdf) with an interview … Continue reading

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Curate What You Know

In my “other life,” I’m a librarian. I’ve tried to integrate my poetry life with my library life by hosting poetry readings at the library.  My guest blog post on Library as Incubator Project describes our main library program, the Indian … Continue reading

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Read “wild swans,” a poem from my birds/memories database poetry project, at Open Letters Monthly

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mnemotechnics

A selection of poems from my manuscript mnemotechnics is available as a chapbook from above/ground press. Cover illustration by Alixandra Bamford. mnemotechnics is about birds and memory– specifically, it’s an homage to the life-list, the list that a birdwatcher keeps of all … Continue reading

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Curation, not Competition: Pinterest and Poetry

For those of you who haven’t ever used it, Pinterest is a link storage site (similar to delicious) that organizes bookmarks with pictures; it’s also similar to Tumblr in that you can like and share links.* Users make “boards” and … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 27: Shorts

We’re packing and cleaning this weekend to get ready to move for May 1. As you can probably tell, I ran out of NaPoWriMo steam mid-month when we finalized the house purchase. This poem is for the spiders we’ve uprooted: … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 26: Child-Poem

My 2.5 year old son dictated this poem to me, including the placement and sizes of the words. I like his use of space. One thing that’s really interesting to me about his perception of the world is the way … Continue reading

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Recent novels

A few contemporary novels I’ve read recently that I liked, with rough descriptions. 1. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes This short book is so well-written, it’s all but perfect. The plot is a little weird, and it’s … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 24: Pure Narrative

Yeah, so I missed a few days. We bought a house. People buy houses all the time, and it seems like it must be an easy process because people do it all the time, but it’s not easy. It wasn’t … Continue reading

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Top 10 Novels

1. Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov) The Great American Novel was written by a Russian aristocratic expat, and one of its two main characters is a similar European expat– but then, most of us came here from elsewhere, and until recently, English wasn’t … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Days 10, 13-15: Layers

This weekend, we went to Atlanta for Nick’s 30th birthday; his gift was tickets to both They Might Be Giants shows at Variety Playhouse. Before we left, we went to the Birmingham Museum of Art to see the hippos. In … Continue reading

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Pigeon interlude

    Ash Smith, Sarah Campbell, Pattie McCarthy and I have been responding on Facebook to a post from Ash about pigeons. I wanted to share two recent (non-NaPoWriMo) poems on the subject.

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NaPoWriMo Day 12: Politics

This poems follows the “x is a y” extended metaphor model that I grew up with in k-12 creative writing lessons. Here I want to think about violence and choice. I took a phrase from this Salon article about North … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 11: Magic

This poem isn’t what I expected it to be when I started a pleasant little pastoral poem about hens. Turns out, chickens are both magical and anarchical. Breeder beware. I’m a day behind– didn’t write anything yesterday. I’ll catch up.

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NaPoWriMo Day 9: Nature

Been reading Christina Rossetti, feeling “listy” (in contrast to “listless”?) Read NaPoWriMO poems by other poets here.

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NaPoWriMo Day 8: Myth

This is not the poem I want to write about this.  It’s too fragmentary– I’m not sure it’s ultimately clear enough what it’s about (when writing fragmentary, multi-linear poetry, there must be a perfect balance between ambiguity and clarity– just … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 7: Collaboration

Yesterday a magical thing happened: I learned that my old friends K. Lorraine Graham and Mark Wallace were reading poetry at the Fusebox series in Chattanooga, about 2 hours northeast of my home in Birmingham. I went into my son’s … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 6: Storytelling

Sometimes you just want to tell a story, y’know? Here are two: one is a brief retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Wild Swans” (as a child I was enchanted by this magical, dream-like fairy tale) and one is … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 5: Collage

This poem is “about” mourning/doves and comprises personal memories; descriptions of mourning doves both created and stolen; some Deleuze and some other stuff. Since I was a teenager, I’ve enjoyed hanging out in art museums. I think Frank Stella‘s 3-D collages … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 4: Chance

I didn’t “write any poems” yesterday, so I used chance to generate one. Some people write entire poems with chance operations, but I use them to generate material for collage/sculptural poems. So I was trying to remember a quote that … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary Poetry, NaPoWriMo

What the Heck is NaPoWriMo

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NaPoWriMo Day 3: Ekphrasis

I wrote four partial poems today. Here’s one. It’s from a new “project” (I think of poems in terms of groups of them, usually chapbook-sized groups, rather than individual poems) of ekphrastic poems. When I was first thinking about Plasticity … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 2: Collages

Here’s an example of a poem that still needs to be built. So far we have some birds, some Wordsworth, and a Mayan myth about where hummingbirds got their color. I should probably add more information about migration, because I … Continue reading

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NaPoWriMo Day 1: Drafting

I’m still revising/adding to a manuscript that, long story short, I wrote half of in 2001, and half in the past year. It was a finalist for the Nightboat Book Prize a few months ago; before that, back in 2001-03 … Continue reading

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Editors and Poets

A few years ago, I tried to be an Editor. Mostly, I was bad at it. I accepted more manuscripts than I had the time or financing to publish. I made a really awesome magazine called Foursquare, but publishing it … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary Poetry, small press publishing

2003-2013: Ten years of nostalgia

I’m in Boston for AWP– I’m moderating a panel tomorrow at 1:30 on Poetry and Librarianship. In the Spring of 2003, another early March if I remember correctly, I was in Cambridge for the NEMLA conference, giving a paper on … Continue reading

Posted in Organic Furniture Cellar, Travel

Transient Views of Western New York

Screen shots from Terry Cuddy’s film Transient Views of Western New York (2002) treating my chapbook bird-book (2001), now in this Flickr photo set.

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Terry Cuddy’s Transient Views of Western New York (2002)

Terry Cuddy made this amazing video featuring Buffalo “transient” poets (mostly Poetics Program graduate students) writing about their favorite local WNY places. Featuring poetry by Mona Niculescu, Sandra Guerreiro, Kyle Schlesinger, Linda Russo, Christopher Alexander, Alejandro Rutty, Amela Kazazovic, Kristen … Continue reading

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Traumatic romantic

I have a poem in the new Word For/ Word. Thanks Adam and Jon!

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The Next Big Thing

Thanks to my colleague Douglas Ray for tagging me to do the following interview; Douglas co-curates the Indian Springs School Visiting Writers Series with me. I am answering the following questions for what I hope will be my second book; … Continue reading

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Feb. 13, 2013

There are only two ways: create the situation (and this is love) or avoid it. This also can be Love. — Charles Olson (With thanks to Alex Porco.)

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Aug. 6, 2010

He could not think another thing that evening simply a life had stepped in in place of theory (LZ, A-15)

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Ugly Duckling’s Digital Library

If you’re left without anything “good” to read now that Ron’s sophisticated and brilliant comment box conversation has been shut down, I’d suggest these four books from Leslie Scalapino. I came to Leslie’s work as an undergraduate at Buffalo, and … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary Poetry, gender | 4 Comments

The Silenced Generation

I want to comment briefly on a special phenomenon I’ve seen and experienced with regard to Ron Silliman‘s blog. It seems that to some degree, poetry’s youth is being trampled, discouraged and undermined with a potential long-term detrimental effect on … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary Poetry | 101 Comments

Why I Use Twitter

I have multiple Twitter accounts and I use them for different purposes.  When people whine that they don’t know why people use Twitter, I’m shocked at how little creativity goes into that statement. Why wouldn’t you use Twitter? There are … Continue reading

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Planned Obsolescence

An ongoing problem with getting Foursquare out for the past few months (besides it not being as high a priority for me as school, job, family, etc.) is that I’ve been waiting until I had enough disposable income ( = … Continue reading

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Elisa’s Atelier: Hermes Ambre Narguile

After trying the Accord Parfait Fourgère this morning, I found it so overwhelmingly smelly and unsubtle that I gave up and washed it off. (If anyone’s itching to try it, let me know. I think it’s a good guy scent.) … Continue reading

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How To Seduce a Scorpio Woman

I was looking over some of the search terms that lead people to my post “How to Win (and Lose) a Scorpio Woman,” and I wanted to do a little Q&A session based on the search strings.  I think the … Continue reading

Posted in love, zodiac | 14 Comments

Elisa’s Atelier: A Straightforward Amber-Lavender

With the last, palest whiffs of the Hermes on my wrists, I decided to stay in a similar group and try Ambre & Lavande (Fougere) by Accord Parfait today. A very straightforward and “smelly” scent, it immediately smells like what … Continue reading

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Statistics

14,600,000 Unemployed * 3,200,000 Jobs Available 11,400,000 Unemployed if all available jobs were filled * 11,200,000 Combined urban populations of NYC and Chicago 14,500,000 Population of Mali 11,300,000 Population of Greece 8,600,000 People working PT who would prefer to work … Continue reading

Posted in job, money | 2 Comments

Elisa’s Atelier: Lavender’s Dirty Little Secret

Because the Caldey Island Lavender wore off so quickly, I was able to get up this morning and try a new perfume right away without showering (yes, it’s summer, but I have an AC and am unemployed so I don’t … Continue reading

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Elisa’s Atelier: Caldey Island Lavender

I received the Hermessence and Caldey samples today and decided to try out the Caldey Island Lavender, since my initial intention was to find a good blue lavender scent. I’m open to finding a replacement for Obsession, or at least … Continue reading

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Elisa’s Atelier: MPG’s Ambre Précieux

I knew nothing about it, but I put a drop on my skin, breathed it in, and said, “Oh, my god” aloud, though I was alone in the room. I was intoxicated by it, possessed, consumed.* I received the first … Continue reading

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12 or 20 Questions

In which I participate in rob mclennan’s long-running interview series. Although rob has been prodding me to do this for awhile, I didn’t feel inspired to until Dottie did it. What can I say, peer pressure works.

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Elisa’s Atelier: : Lavender’s Blue

Checking into the Twitter hive this morning, I listened to Gillian talking to Elisa about cherry scents and mentioned that I have a fetish for lavender. All of my cleaning products are lavender: Seventh Generation‘s lavender and mint dish soap … Continue reading

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Protected: The readiness is all

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Posted in gender, health

Protected: Goodbye, Coach Laughlin

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Posted in gender, health