Curtis Smith toils away thinking about our world in a time when many other writers simply tweet about it. The results of Smith’s longer, if no less peaceful, view have just been collected in a handsome new edition called Communion–out from Dock Street Press.
Having published stories and essays in more than 70 journals, Smith is a writer’s writer forever querying the world and writing down the answers he receives–in the various forms he receives them. You may find yourself, in Smith’s sure hands, just as one reviewer notes: “left marveling at the layers of life history and humanity [he] has evoked.” Another reviewer, on reading the 21 essays in Communion, reports with gratitude that Smith’s collection ranges in subject from “fear and happiness to fatherhood and aging to sledding and Mount Vesuvius.” Besides the regret that it doesn’t read “sledding on Mount Vesuvius,” the only complaint about this review is that it doesn’t mention love. Because love–for family, for nature, for the world–is what gives these earnest explorations their pulse and poignancy, their decency. But then what is love, after all, but communion? Take a walk in the woods with Curtis Smith and his son, as you can here, and you’ll know.