“Slow Poetry, dappled with sun and shadow, held in loving gaze”


“[Smith’s] poems are auto-biographical; personal, yet universal. They are permeated with history and geography; socially aware and impassioned. At the same time, they can be quiet, even tender. Dale weaves textures of culture and memory that explore and question the experience of being alive in a volatile world. For almost two decades his work has sustained me.” 


Rich, rich book…. Presents such a range. The book made me think, wonder, laugh. Amazing how much and how widely you have read—I always learn so much from anything you write. End up looking things up.

And oh so beautifully alive your hot Austin—(I had brief romance in very hot April outside of Austin—bluebonnets and primrose—paint brush—cows—oh)

Wonderful wonderful. 


Of course, there are American poets writing works like Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness. For example, the New Narrative Poets of the Bay Area — Dodie Bellamy, Robert Gluck, Kathy Acker, Gary Indiana, Carla Harriman and a somewhat younger generation — Teresa Hak Kyung Cha, Rob Halpern, Juliana Spahr, Dana Ward, and others. Or the individual iconoclastics, Susan Howe, William Carlos Williams, Dale Smith, C.D. Wright, G.C. Waldrep, Charles Olson, and Derek Walcott, H.L. Hix, who do not share any form or school or chronotope, but all take the idea of history and the idea of poetry and the idea of history and poetry seriously. 


“Not since Haniel Long’s retelling of Cabeza de Vaca’s poignant journal of his wanderings has an American writer so vividly and particularly located the mind and heart of those historic particulars. Here is initial America sans the hype, the heart-breaking first story.



What is lyric’s relation to history, to a public today? In this poetry – the impossible heart beating intensities through every human murmur and whisper that manages to lift itself up into song into solace. In this poetry, the deep neon glow of America visible from across fake nations’ lines, pulsating broken geographies, rent histories, torn earth. Deep gratitude to Dale Smith for willing more beauty and more tenderness into the world.

– STEPHEN COLLIS, Latner Prize winner and author of A History of the Theories of Rain

In lines of great lyric discernment with an eye to atrocities of the past in the present, Dale Smith reimagines the song form as our consummate equipment for living. Flying Red Horse confirms his breathtaking artistry that – insofar as any time of innocence is over – holds at once a place, an exhortation, a persevering, a reverie, a promise.

– ROBERTO TEJADA, Guggenheim Fellow and author of Why the Assembly Disbanded


Blur (knife | fork | book, 2022)

Flying Red Horse (Talonbooks, 2021)

Sons (knife | fork | book, 2017) Sons Broadside (KFB, 2018)

Slow Poetry in America (Cuneiform, 2014)

Susquehanna (Punch Press, 2008)

Black Stone (Effing Press, 2007)

The Flood & the Garden (First Intensity Press, 2002)

American Rambler (Thorp Springs Press, 2000)

An Open Map reproduces letters written regularly over more than twenty years, while Imagining Persons contains Duncan’s nine public lectures on Olson and open field poetics—and much besides—ably transcribed and introduced by the editors Robert J. Bertholf…and Dale M. Smith.” 

Times Literary Supplement


An Open Map: The Robert Duncan / Charles Olson CorrespondenceImagining Persons: Robert Duncan’s Lectures on Charles Olson [with Robert J. Bertholf] 

Poets Beyond the Barricade: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Dissent after 1960

A Personal Bibliography on Bolinas, California, for Wave Books

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