August Smith

My dear friend recently wrote a post regarding “hip young writers.”  Much like my aforementioned friend, August Smith certainly qualifies as a hip young writer.  Currently residing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, August studies English in addition to frequenting a number of Michigan’s independent artistic scenes.  In his recently completed collection of poems entitled Upperpeninsula, August captures the bleak, gritty character of his native region.  Complete with allusions to gas station fare, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and snow-tempered ennui, the poems reveal the author’s intimate knowledge of the very unpoetic Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  August challenges the de facto rule that any young artist possessing any amount of taste must be an urbanite.  Rather, he readily engages with the unglamorous banalities of living in the isolated and sparsely populated region affectionately known as “the U.P.”

I was very excited to see August approach the theme of the Upper Peninsula in his poetry because I knew he would address it in his characteristic discerning, irreverent manner.  His sensibilities clash wonderfully with the scenes he describes—much like seeing the poet himself clad in scarf and wool coat navigating a sea of flannel and backwoods machismo. You can read August’s poems here: