Smith has turned out a lot of poets — or maybe a lot of poets choose to go to Smith? In any case, if Sylvia Plath is the only Smithie whose poetry you’ve read, you are in for a treat. Here are six collections by Smithie poets to get you started, but any time you want to dip into something new, pay a visit to the Poetry Center website, where you can read poems from dozens of Smith alums.
DAY OF THE BORDER GUARDS by Katherine E. Young ’83. In this collection, Young examines the role of the witness — specifically, her role as a witness in the days before the fall of the Soviet Union.
UNREST by Chloe Yelena Miller ’98. In UNREST, Miller deals in the poetry of the physical — from food to lovebirds to lovers. Author Renee Ashley writes “These poems rest easily in the world because they are so much of it.”
AT THE TURNING OF THE LIGHT by CB Follett ’58. Prolific poet CB Follett won a National Poetry Book Award for this collection of “lush, moving, wonderfully accessible poems.”
BOTTLES AND BONES by Ayesha Chatterjee ’91. Canadian poet Ayesha Chatterjee has lived all over the world, and she brings her wide range of experiences to bear in this, her second collection. “The poems are replete with surprising and beautiful imagery, precious recollections, sadness and joy.”
PELVIS WITH DISTANCE by Jessica Jacobs ’02. In this award-winning collection, Jacobs has created a biography-in-poems of artist Georgia O’Keeffe. “A narrative-driven collection that reads like a novel, this book delves into issues of creativity, feminism, and relationships.”
A TONGUE IN THE MOUTH OF THE DYING by Laurie Ann Guerrero AC ’08. This award-winning collection sees Guerrero examine the people, history, and culture of South Texas. Guerrero’s “poems locate the life-giving power of verbal expression in the mouths of disenfranchised speakers.”