Heather Derr-Smith's second collection journeys to the rough core of desire, creating and destroying binaries along the way. Familiar artefacts of domesticity become as volatile as land mines, and the streets of Damascus, Calcutta, and other faraway locales obliterate the American landscape. Yet Derr-Smith's poetry transcends time and place, illuminating the ties that bind man to woman, mother to child. A young son's purposeful breaking of a bowl hurls the speaker back to the unconnected shards of her past. An everyday scene outside an elementary school expands into a soulful meditation on the nature of violence and grief. "The Bride Minaret" is a relentless chronicle of experience, where the sacred and profane become interchangeable, where Every tent has a name, and every name is the breath of you.
Heather Derr-Smith was born in Dallas, Texas in 1971. She spent most of her childhood in Fredericksburg, Virgin ia. She earned her B.A. in art history from the University of Virginia and went on to earn her M.F.A. in poetry writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her poems have appeared in New York Quarterly, TriQuarterly, Fence, and Margie. Her first book of poems, Each End of the World (Main Street Rag Press, 2005), was about the war in Bosnia in the 1990s.