Heather Derr-Smith, who earlier made an appearance on Irving Toast, will be reading at the MUM Library, north lounge, on Tuesday, December 1st at 8:00 pm. This will be Heather's last state-side reading before her trip to Bosnia.
Heather Derr-Smith will be reading from The Bride Minaret and Each End of the World as well as from her latest work, in four cities in Bosnia in the following venues: International University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo Institute of Science and Technology, Buy Book, Corner Book, the British Council, University of Travnik, University of Zenica, and University of Tuzla, December 3-9th. Check back in for full schedule dates and times! The Readings and Workshops are funded by the Iowa Arts Council, TheNational Endowment for the Arts, and a grant from Iowa State University.
The Bride Minaret is a book of emotional, literary, and cultural substance. As Mandelson wrote of Auden: the poems bear witness to the close connection between intelligence and love. The same can be said of Derr-Smith, whose work is global, with settings in Iraq, BritishColumbia, Algiers, Paris, Sarajevo, Cairo, the West Bank, and various U.S. locations. Her poems are intercultural, expansive while still grounded in the evocative complexities of motherhood, childhood, and faith. The Bride Minaret is a wonderfully intense collection.
In the Bride Minaret, Heather Derr-Smith explores the complex and difficult realities of our global world more comprehensively and comprehendingly than most American poets consider even attempting. Often paying close attention to those displaced and/or disconnected from the society around them–Arabs in Europe, Americans in the Middle East, Mennonites in Iowa, Balkan refugees, Roma orphans, Palestinians, and at the heart of the book, a mother now dislocated from her former,childless self– these poems ultimately argue that dislocation is itself a kind of location, just as living forever in one place can end up dislocating oneself from the realities of our time.