Friday, October 1, 2021

Watch Pushcart Prizewinning poet Maggie Smith on KUCI 88.9fm with host Janeane Bernstein. Maggie gained star status in 2016 with her viral poem Good Bones. She shares her latest book of poems, Goldenrod, and her inspiring journey as an award-winning poet.

Pushcart Prizewinning poet Maggie Smith gained star status in 2016 with her viral poem Good Bones. Long-celebrated in the poetry community for her lyricism and style, her poetry has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review, but her breakout bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity and Change (2020) launched her to new levels of popularity. A collection of personal essays and affirmations, Keep Moving captured the spirit of a grieving nation as she guided “readers toward discovering growth through struggle, resilience through practice, and transformation through small actions” (People). 

Now with GOLDENROD (on sale 7/27; One Signal/Atria 9781982185060), Smith returns to her original craft with a powerful collection of poems that explore parenthood, solitude, love, and memory. Pulling objects from everyday life—a hallway mirror, a rock found in her son’s pocket, a field of goldenrod at the side of the road—she reveals the magic of the present moment. Only Maggie Smith could turn an autocorrect mistake into a line of poetry, musing that her phone “doesn’t observe / the high holidays, autocorrecting / shana tova to shaman tobacco, / Rosh Hashanah to rose has hands.”

Slate called Smith’s “superpower as a writer” her “ability to find the perfect concrete metaphor for inchoate human emotions and explore it with empathy and honesty.” The poems in GOLDENROD celebrate the contours of daily life, explore and delight in the space between thought and experience, and remind us that we decide what is beautiful.

Maggie Smith is the award-winning author of Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, and the national bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received several Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been widely published, appearing in the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and more.

For more on Smith, please visit

Devon Albeit Photography

Praise for Goldenrod

“To read Maggie Smith is to embrace the achingly precious beauty of the present moment—a sentiment that is omnipresent in her latest collection of poems, Goldenrod. In this volume, the award-winning poet uses the seemingly familiar objects and happenings of everyday life—an autocorrect mistake, a rock from her young son’s pocket and a field of the titular goldenrods—as conduits for finding the extraordinary in the day-to-day motions of a routine. In doing so, Smith makes the case that nearly every element in our lives can be part of the divine, if we only take the time to look.” —TIME

“Maggie Smith is that rare poet who can inspire you, break your heart, and make you stop astonished at the planet around you—all in the same poem, often in the same moment. Who else can do that? ‘I walk alone in the snow,’ she writes, ‘squinting up into the big, wet flakes, / letting them bathe my face. I tell myself / it is a kind of touch.’ This kind of wisdom is more than hard-earned, it is a gift.” —Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic

“Goldenrod is fresh, wise, and necessary. With wonder and poignancy, the speaker navigates a necessary reconstitution of self as she grieves what is lost. This is a lush and intimate collection of poems full of joy and sorrow, fire and field. Maggie Smith’s way of seeing is positively alchemical.” —Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer

“Maggie Smith’s brilliant new book Goldenrod alternates between gratitude and anger, bafflement and forgiveness, but more than anything else, like all Maggie’s work, these poems radiate love. To read Maggie Smith’s poems is to realize that we aren’t alone.” —Rhett Miller, singer/songwriter, Old 97s

“Goldenrod brims with a fervent love for this gorgeous and wounded world. Though Maggie Smith doesn’t turn away from the pain and suffering––from a divorce and a child’s illness to mass shootings and the desecration of the earth––her precise attention and observations pull me in closer to the beauty and the mystery of this life. These are poems you want to rush into. They are also poems you will find yourself returning to more slowly again and again. These poems are like the stones she describes: together/ they dazzle with fire.” —Ellen Bass, author of Indigo

“Keep a meditation on kindness and hope, and how to move forward through grief.”

—National Public Radio

“A poet for times of trouble”

—The Wall Street Journal

“[Good Bones] is the official poem of 2016”

—Public Radio International

Coming up 7/17/24 9:00am - Janeane chats with Producer Jay Silverman about his latest film CAMERA, starring Beau Bridges

‘CAMERA’ starring Beau Bridges, centers around a young mute boy who uses an old film camera to express his point of view, with the help of ...