Today's poem is "A Local Joan of Arc,"
from Nobody's Jackknife

West End Press

Ellen McGrath Smith's award-winning poetry, short fiction, literary criticism, and scholarship have been published in anthologies and print and online journals nationwide. She has received the Zone 3 Rainmaker Award, the Orlando Prize from the A Room of Her Own Foundation, and other honors. A teacher at the University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University, McGrath Smith holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. She lives, writes, works, and practices yoga in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised.

Other poems by Ellen McGrath Smith in Verse Daily:
March 25, 2009:   "The Uses of Things" "When the stove clock hands sprawl..."
August 9, 2004:  "Saving the Appearances" "A metrics of mammals..."
July 27, 2004:  "Yes and No" "Exactly the problem is..."
July 8, 2004:  "Ways, Truths, Lights: Leaves of Glass" "The sun in wan puddles, pieces..."

Books by Ellen McGrath Smith:

Other poems on the web by Ellen McGrath Smith:
Two poems
Two poems
"The Shape of the Bell"
"My Mother at the Alamo"
"The Shape of the Bells"

Ellen McGrath Smith's Website.

About Nobody's Jackknife:

"Ellen McGrath Smith's first book, Nobody's Jackknife, is a work of intelligence, verve, and assertiveness. It is a spacious work, one able to encompass poetry, essay, and prose poetry, and able to address manifold concerns, from spiritual explorations of the poses in yoga, to autobiographical poems of drinking, sex, and work. Above all, though, there is something wonderfully classical about this book. Smith is mistress of the extended meditation. Nobody's Jackknife recurrently asserts that a poem is open to unlimited possibilities of deep, long thought. What a tough-minded, far-reaching, and beautiful debut this is."
—Lynn Emanuel

"he filmic narratives underpinning this collection sustain both forward-motion and sharp relief against a haunting music. Supple tonal and atonal utterances surge inside physical and psychic violence and drink, carelessness and adoration, and an Emersonian embrace of Eros. Smith is a poet with an exquisite ear, who pitches her voice against a visual field lush with arboreal feminine presence. A quasi-enchanting natural world intermittently changes shape before our eyes: we see a glimpse of blossom or fur, a body still or in motion. Memory is retrieved, extinguished, retrieved."
—Judith Vollmer

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