Today's poem is "Franklin. Swimming."
from How to Make a Mummy

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Mike Smith was born in the mountain town of Philippi, West Virginia and now lives in North Carolina with his young daughter and son. He holds degrees from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Hollins College, and the University of Notre Dame. This is his first book.

Books by Mike Smith: How to Make a Mummy

Other poems on the web by Mike Smith:
Two poems

About How to Make a Mummy:

"Mike Smith has written an absolutely confident first book. With its half-comical, half-gothic nightmare of a title, the volume deals with making of all kinds—songs, poems, paintings, communities, families, friendships, mummies. Smith is temperamentally a formalist, and we find here beautifully crafted couplets, quatrains, sonnets, epigrammatic epitaphs, elegies, epistolary poems. Having gone to school on poets like Tate, Ransom, and Warren—and their own students Berryman, Lowell, and Jarrell—Smith honors his masters with an impressive sense of tradition worthy of their own. But there is another side to Smith as well, and that is to be found in the strange and formally experimental ‘Aqua-man’ of Part V. If the poems of his cycle ‘Small Industry’ can be read as a contemporary version of southern regionalism located not far from Thomas Wolfe country, ‘Aqua-man’ splashes in waters that might even make Finnegan wake. Like the Paganini of the opening poem, or ‘Imaginary Music’ written for his wife, Smith’s poems keep saying: This is for you."
—John Matthias

"Mike Smith has a restless imagination. It is as if he won’t trust himself to settle on a single idea without recognizing its immediate contradiction. The effect is what we have come to admire as a strange and peculiar realism in the most absurdist of our twentieth century writers…Such shifting intelligence could leave us bewildered, but we are dealing with a fine craftsman who finds ways to turn rhyme into a dynamic rhythmic thing that enlivens his poetry. His verse is beautiful, well-formed and shapely so that every caesura, every sudden pause or inflection seems to be capturing the natural dialogue between mind and voice."
—Kwame Dawes

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