Outlaw Style: Poems

Overview

The landscape and culture of the American South are presented for interrogation and understanding in this collection of narrative and lyric poems from R. T. Smith. Organized into three sections, Outlaw Style takes us from the history of American racial intolerance, to a séance of voices involved with John Wilkes Booth, to an exploration of the roots of traditional music.
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Overview

The landscape and culture of the American South are presented for interrogation and understanding in this collection of narrative and lyric poems from R. T. Smith. Organized into three sections, Outlaw Style takes us from the history of American racial intolerance, to a séance of voices involved with John Wilkes Booth, to an exploration of the roots of traditional music.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

"Who thought this up, this reservoir/of sorrow, tang of chrome, taste of cedar?" asks Smith. "I first learned to spit and whisper/through a one-octave mini-twitter/from a Cracker Jacks box. Blow, harder,/Freddie said, then showed me." In this new collection, Smith (Brightwood) celebrates his first blues, his first harmonica, and the lore and the lure of his South. The title refers to more than the music, the outsider art. It also references history, both personal and public; landscapes; and the intangibles of culture. Dividing the book into three sections, Smith considers the painful story of racial intolerance, investigates the curious people and circumstances surrounding John Wilkes Booth, and explores the roots of traditional music. In narratives and lyrics both, with a wonderful ear and a feel for crisp, clean language, Smith brings life to a rich childhood and its setting: "Dog days, flat heat, the sky tight/as a Holiness tambourine. I am walking the road/gouged out to make way for Saddle Ridge Acres/and mourning the slaughter of timber,/but someone down the bulldozed slope/is striking true notes like fireflies in the August air." Highly recommended.
—Louis McKee

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557288530
  • Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Series: University of Arkansas Press Poetry Ser.
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 6.19 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

R. T. SMITH is the editor of the journal Shenandoah at Washington and Lee University. He is the author of a number of books, most recently, Uke Rivers Delivers: Stories; The Hollow Log Lounge: Poems; and Messenger, winner of the Library of Virginia's Literary Award for Poetry. Among his other awards are the Cohen Prize for Poetry, the Guy Owen Prize, and three Pushcart Prizes.
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