Tu Fu Comes to
America: A Story in Poems. March Street Press
The Long River
Home: A Novel. Working
Lives Series, Bottom
Dog Press 2009
The Kanshi Poems of Taigu
Faces and Voices: Tales. Bird Dog
Remains: Poems. WordTech
& Roses: Memoirs. Ridgeway
Journal: Poems by
Smith. Westron Press, 2001.
America. A Consortium of
Small Presses, 2000. Biography.
Hold Has This Mountain?
trans. Bottom Dog Press, 1998.
(novel) Ridgeway Press, 1998.
Stories. Bottom Dog
Steel Valley: Postcards and
Zen Poems with d.
(A Twinbook) Bottom Dog Press, 1989.
Dog Press, 1985.
Paper, Rock (Prose Poems) Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1982.
Without Sound (Poems with Etchings by Stephen Smigocki) Northwoods
Ferlinghetti: Poet-at-Large (Literary
biography) Southern Illinois Univeristy
Patchen (Literary biography) Twayne
Series, G.K.Hall Publishers, 1978
programs, written, co-directed and co-produced with Tom Koba;
Ohio Humanities Council and Ohio Arts Counci.]
An Art of
Engagement (30 and 45 minutes, 1987-1988)
DVD double program:
d.a.levy: Cleveland Rebel
Poet of the
(Interview with Ed
Memorial Reading at levyfest 2005).
Come Together: Imagine Peace
with Ann Smith and Philip Metres (2008)
Cleveland Poetry Scenes: A Panorama and Anthology
with Mary E. Weems and
Nina Freedlander Gibans (2008)
d.a.levy & the mimeograph revolution
with Ingrid Swanberg (2007)
Matters: Poems of Our Families
with Ann Smith (2005)
America Zen: A Gathering of Poets
Ray McNiece (2004)
with Mary E. Weems (2002);
Writing Work: Writers
on Working-Class Writing (1999);
By: Stories of Working Lives (1996);
In Buckeye Country:
Photos and Essays (1994);
A Red Shadow of Steel
Mills: Photos and Poems
Managing Editor of
Magazine of Midwest Life and Art. (1998-2008)
All Above Titles Available
The Long River Home: A Novel
by Larry Smith
Click Here to
Hear the Author Read
an Excerpt from this Chapter
The boy lies there waiting a long
time smelling the spring earth, till he hears them go, footsteps
through underbrush. This other song of loving and longing can wait. The
bringing with them memories of his grandfather—their fishing together,
working at his side, scoring the baseball games,
talking on rides to the lumberyard. These are not gone.
He breathes in and out. Memories remain. He closes his eyes to an image
of his grandfather’s face which fades into that of his father. He lies
there alone staring up through trees till the
morning clouds seem to still and he and the earth move under them. And
in the green leaves dancing with life above him, he
sees the broken parts of sunlight and sky as a sign of something
deeper, something more. His grandfather’s loss, this sense
of distances, and this new longing he feels for love—is all part of
life’s change. Everything is deparitng and everthing is arriving.
He rises knowing that he stands in a
grace of the land and the woods that remain. As he begins his slow walk
down that familiar valley, he looks out over the river and hills and
in blood and memory what holds him. The great river runs through this
deep valley, and its waters will rise and fall
again and again, creeping into houses bringing mud and decay, a
dampness over all while we retreat in rainfall. Then the sun will come
and the waters recede as we reclaim our lives again. Down the hill is
home and the people I love.
978-1-933964-30-0 (hard cover) 240 pgs.
978-1-933964-31-7 (perfect bound) 240
A River Remains: Poems by
A WordTech Editions Selection
from Word Communications, Inc. 252
THE BONDS OF WORK
“We’ll get the job done,”
I tell my daughter on the phone
and hear my father’s voice, all his life
turning work to love and honor.
“We’ll get the job done”—not perfection
but carry through, and I recall
the long hours of getting his tools
holding flashlights while he lay
on cardboard beneath the car
fixing brakes and starters, changing oil
because he could, because we
needed milk and bread.
When married, he’d help us move
each time not stopping till the beds
were up in each bedroom—his hands
red from lifting, turning wrenches
on appliances, thinking his way through.
And he’d follow our U-Haul back,
return with me and sandwiches,
my wife making the kids’ beds,
Mom serving coffee in paper cups,
only then could we sit and rest.
I give back now this work
for my children grown and wed,
helping them know their grandfather’s
love by the work he bred.
and Voices: Tales
by Larry Smith
From "Blue Moon Drive-In"
“What’s the story?” That’s what
he used to say, my old
man. As he entered our room, Monopoly game spread out, records playing
loud, “Okay, what’s the story here?” We thought it was pretty obvious,
but we knew too that he’d been talking with Mom, hearing her complain
about “this shiftless bunch.” We never had any answer, never really
knew what that meant—“the story.” What was that—a lie, the secret, the
way things happened, what they all meant? What we’d do is make up some
excuse for what we must have done wrong. Sometimes he would offer
hints: “What’s the story on the grass cutting, boys?”
“Oh, yeah, Dad, it was kinda raining all morning,
and then we had to run to the store down town to get the ground meat
for the spaghetti sauce.”
David might jump in, “This afternoon we studied the
catechism for Reverend Taylor’s class. You know we’re joining the
church next Sunday.” Great touch.
“Okay,” Dad would say, walking away. “Just get it
done before Sunday.”
I started thinking of it at night, lying in bed
awake hearing David snore. There were all these kinds of stories. Each
of us could tell many from one incident—how the window got broken, how
the dog got loose, where the socket wrench set got to. And my story
would only be part of it even for me. We edit as we speak, you know.
Tomorrow I’d tell a different story, and none of it would be lies, and
all of it would. . . .
of telling stories is the work of both healing wounds and shaping the
read these stories, you will take a closer look at the waitress who
refills your coffee, the man who cashes your check at the bank, the
couple in the car that passes you on the secondary highway. What these
monologues, letters and phone calls share is an urgency; with only the
bare truth to guide them, Smith’s characters struggle to make some
sense in the world, and through telling their stories, they
succeed. " -Bonnie
Jo Campbell, author of Q
INSIDE THE NOISE
Yes, there were coal mines, and steel mills, and
factories. All of them grinding away at the edge of things–thin shudder
of the earth that we lived with, echoing roar of river inside the
It grew inside us.
It was the sound of a furnace under the floor
shaking the boards at our feet. Men and women who worked long in it
dissolved to deafness, began to speak with hands. Those who lived along
its edge learned to turn away.
Birds stood on fence posts, without any
necks, or flitted close to the ground.
Open any window, close any door, it was there, a slow and
steady rain that fell over everything. It was a death rattle there in
our chest, and our lives were clothes hanging out on the line without
Everyone knew but no one spoke.
by Larry Smith
A novella set in industrial
Lorain, Ohio, four personal esays,
and six short stories set in industrial Ohio River Valley.
"I like Beyond Rust and find it
very affecting—Good, strong language and a big heart shining through."
-Sy Safransky, ed. Sun Magazine
156 pgs. 9780933087392
[Pig Iron Press 1992]
the people here grow grass
got the hair without the brains.
friends in a room
working and sleeping.
have a little garden
the soil with my sweat,
listen to the music in the water.
on a rock at dusk,
of a dark eyed girl
brushing her hair
nightgown before a mirror.
a goat rattles its bell
yard, and she looks out
east. When I look up
Other Links [Books
may be ordered from]
Wang Wei and Taigu Ryokan
Translated and Read by Larry Smith
with flute by Monty Page
Includes booklet of the poems of these great Zen poets.
$10.00 A sample from the CD