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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 20, 2007

Smith poetry collection 'Deed' will be available Oct. 1 from UI Press

"Deed," the 10th book of poems by Rod Smith, will become available from the University of Iowa Press Oct. 1.

"Deed" is a lyric, ambitious, rebellious work grounded in the New American tradition of poets including John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Olson.

Award-winning poet Peter Gizzi wrote: "The great thing about Rod Smith's work is that it is all risk all the time. In 'Deed,' he has built a substantial architecture whose 'perilous upkeep' is dazzling. This is a truly wondrous book."

Lisa Jarnot, the author of "Black Dog Songs," mused: "A master poet among us? I'd vote for Rod Smith. With the sweeping vision of Whitman, the noun-play of Gertrude Stein and the slant political commentary of the New York School, Smith chisels out a place of his own with a tremendous integrity of vision. 'Deed' contains the best of what American poetry has to offer: a place to pause and reflect upon the beauty of language and love flowering up through the mayhem of the world."

And Carolyn Forche wrote: "Rod Smith's 'Deed' is truly deed in the oldest sense, 'a doing' that walks us awake. Its long poem, 'The Good House' titles over a house by turns 'trusted, reasonable, stolid, imperious, clear. There is no false in it.' Nor is there any false in Smith, who knows clear well the time in which he lives, and what it means to be an 'involuntary American' as he chisels a language for the 'involuntary American' now in peril. By the time we finish 'Deed' we might not know what to do, but there is an interesting suggestion in the last poem, titled 'Pour le CGT.' Smith is the poet we need now. I am grateful for his 'Deed.'"

Smith is the author of nine other books of poems, including "Music or Honesty," "Poèmes de l'Araignées" and "In Memory of My Theories." His poems have appeared in many print and online journals and anthologies, including the Baffler, the Gertrude Stein Awards, Java, New American Writing, Poetics Journal and Shenandoah.

He edits the journal Aerial, publishes Edge Books and manages the independent Bridge Street Books in Washington, D.C. Smith is also editing, with Peter Baker and Kaplan Harris, "The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley."

"Deed," part of the UI Press Kuhl House Poets series, is available for sale at bookstores or directly from the University of Iowa Press by phone at 800-621-2736 or online at Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, or Africa may order from the Eurospan Group online at

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Thomas, UI Press, 319-335-2015,; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073 (office), 319-430-1013 (cell),