Rod Smith edits the journal Aerial, publishes Edge Books, and manages Bridge Street Books in Washington, DC. He has taught at the The Iowa Writers' Workshop, The Maryland Institute College of Art, The Corcoran College of Art + Design, and George Mason University. Smith co-edited The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley (University of California Press, 2014). His collection, Touché, was published by Wave Books in 2015.
While Smith’s poems sometimes border on the hermetic, their grasp of modern and post-World War II American poetry chisels a place among a range of challenging contemporary writing.
— Matthew M. Gagnon, Jacket
For as much as he’s willing to mock, parody, and pull the rug out from under poetic conventions, whether those of romanticism or current experimental practices, it’s always done with a deep respect and understanding, an irreverence which is somehow reverent and celebratory. [Smith] has in Deed given us a document of empowering, risky, and lasting work, an engaging testament to the complexities and contradictions of our current moment, and one of the few formal contracts worthy of everyone’s signature.
— Noah Eli Gordon, Rain Taxi
Interspersing musings on society, assumed voices, and absurd punch lines, [Deed] creates its own experimental logic.
— Amanda Hess, Washington City Paper
Smith's poems shuttle line-by-line between what the poet "means" and a kind of chance: how the poet grabs onto what swims across his ken and places it, wholesale, into a poem. The result is a unique collage aesthetic mated with the discovery narrative of the mind, a daily improvisation dependent on the tools at hand...some of the most useful of which are unreason, distraction, humor, piety, not to mention music and honesty.
— Publishers Weekly
Reviews of books by Rod Smith
- Five (in The Brooklyn Rail)
- Poems from Snips and an interview (in Sibila)
- From The Good House (in Beltway Poetry Quarterly)
- From The Boy Poems (in Double Change)
- “The Spider Poems” (in the DC Poetry Anthology)
- From “Homage to Homage to Creeley” (at In Posse Review)
- From Deed (at Damn the Caesars)
- More from Deed (at Woodland Pattern Book Center)
- “Ted's Head” (at Poetic Orphanage)
- Five poems (in LOCUSPOINT)
- Author page (at the Electronic Poetry Center)
- Three poems from Touché (in Apartment Poetry)
- Readme, with Patrick F. Durgin
- Beltway Poetry Quarterly, with Daniel Gutstein
- Jacket2, with Stephen McLaughlin
- DC Poetry, with Ross Taylor
- Sibila, with Amy Wright
- Papers for the Border podcast #13: "The Poetry Episode"
- Rod Smith's page on PennSound
- Reading for the Test Reading Series at Mercer Union in Toronto