NC Literary Hall of Fame












Running Music by Crystal Simone Smith

Longleaf Press
$10.00, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9829290-9-4
December, 2014
Available from the author

"I suppose it is not too unusual for a person to have family responsibilities, a job, and a vocation, and for that person to find it hard to keep things ongoing and mostly under control. Running Music addresses this subject with candor, sometimes rueful humor, and always with a determined attitude, 'game face,' they say these days."
—Fred Chappell, North Carolina Poet Laureate, 1997-2002

"Running Music is a necklace of tales interloping rich narratives from beginning to end…endless in surprises. Crystal Simone Smith captures the miracles and horrors; the sublime found in the mundane; the haunting awareness of entanglement. These are poems shot straight from the heart… intentionally hitting or missing, sometimes both. Running Music sings with solidarity for the children, for the relentless love of life and living…a tribute and offering to the breath of the running spirit."
—Jaki Shelton Green, 2014 inductee, NC Literary Hall of Fame

"The speaker in Crystal Simone Smith's collection of poems, Running Music, stays keenly observant while wrapped up in life's daily routine. She is both world-weary and hopeful, engaged and curiously amused. Here she is—coming upon a field of buttercups in the rain, poised in a pack of runners at the start of a race, nursing her son through a long night. Time and again in these sane poems, she lays out her experience, and her insights, with the resolve of an expert craftsman. In poem after poem, Smith boldly embraces the challenges life hands her, then she calmly sets them down and run swiftly into the night."
—Sebastian Matthews, author of We Generous and Miracle Day

Crystal Simone Smith was raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and educated in North Carolina at Bennett College, UNC-Greensboro, and Queens University of Charlotte. She is the author of Routes Home (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in numerous journals including: Callaloo, Nimrod, Barrow Street, Obsidian II: Literature in the African Diaspora, African American Review, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change. She is an alumnus of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Yale Summer Writers Conference. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Durham, NC, with her husband and two sons where she teaches English Composition II and Creative Writing. She is currently the Managing Editor of Backbone Press. 

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