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Heather S. Derr-Smith's Biography

Member Info

Dec 2008

Heather Derr-Smith was born in Dallas, Texas in 1971. She spent most of her childhood in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She earned her BA in Art History at the University of Virginia where she took poetry workshops with Charles Wright, Rita Dove, and Greg Orr. She went on to the Iowa Writers' Workshop for her MFA in Poetry. Her first book of poems, Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press 2005) was about the war in Bosnia in the 1990's. Her second collection, The Bride Minaret (University of Akron Press 2008) continued to explore issues of identity and exile. In the summer of 2007, Smith traveled to Damascus, Syria to inteview Iraqi and Palestinian refugees. Their stories are woven into the fabric of the book. Derr-Smith lives and teaches in Iowa. She is currently the Visiting Writer at Iowa State University for Spring 2009.

Influences

Mark Doty. Charles Wright. Wolfgang Tilmans. Sylvia Plath. Mahmoud Darwish. Adonis. Emily Dickinson. Louis Gluck. Sonic Youth. Mary Szybist. Sam Witt. Amy Woolard. D.A. Powell. Ray Nelson. Bosnian Folktales. Palestinian Birds. The Sound of Music.

Recommended Links

Publishers

University of Akron Press
Main Street Rag Press