Books

Books

Dark Testament

Henry Holt and Co., 2023

Dark Testament gives voice to the mournful dead, their lives unjustly lost to violence, and to the grieving chorus of protestors in today’s Black Lives Matter movement, in search of resilience and hope. With poems found within the text of George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo, Smith embarks on an uncompromising exploration of collective mourning and crafts a masterwork that resonates far beyond the page. 

Among These Blues

Ross Press & Bindery, 2023

Among These Blues is a limited-edition leaflet of haiku handmade by Ross Press & Bindery. The illustrations were created by Nicolette Ross. It includes ten haiku written about the city of Durham, North Carolina, some previously published in haiku journals. One hundred books were designed,  screenprinted, and numbered. 

$8.00 including shipping

Ebbing Shore

Horse & Buggy Press, 2022

Winner of the 2022 Touchstone Distinguish Book Award

Ebbing Shore is a limited-edition book of haiku designed by Dave Wofford of Horse and Buggy Press. As a poet of African descent writing haiku, Crystal’s approach, while conjured by the natural world, often shifts to that of cultural experiences. The focus is often historical, dating back to American slavery.

$15.00 including shipping

Down to Earth

Longleaf Press, 2021

“Has freedom made us lazy, we might wonder as we read these incredible poems in Smith’s Down to Earth? Are we tourists in our lives, troubled by a history of enslavement? The voices and stories of black lives penetrate these questions in this collection of poems that don’t coddle or pull away from our earthly struggles to find hope and meaning in our human work. Down to Earth is an asking, a plea to take comfort in the stories and people who anchor our living. “Was it ever wrath?” asks Smith in her ars poetica, revealing that better and worse are spun from the same lightning strike. Poems like “Uncloudy Day” exemplify the core thematic energy of the book, that in the hardness of life God resides, and there is still time for us to “stand / gazing at the sky / unfisted and glad.” With nods to poets to like James Wright, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sylvia Plath, let Down to Earth direct your attention to the ways in which God is all around us, though He might take the shape of a bird or another creature, it is our job to catch the fleeting nature of this hope.

– AMBER FLORA THOMAS, Author of Eye of Water, The Rabbits Could Sing, and Red Channel in the Rupture

One Window’s Light

Unicorn Press, 2017

“This collection is like a window that presents the light of insights into African American history and culture and offers fresh haiku for the reader to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste for a growth of sensibility, a moment of enlightenment, a rhythm of creative thinking, and an appreciation of African American heritage. The most impressive part of this collection is its focus on environment and current events, offering a clear point of view that haiku is not just about nature; it is also about human nature and society.”

– JOHN ZHENG,
Editor of African American Haiku: Cultural Visions

Wild Flowers: Haiku, Senryu, and Haiga

2016

“Haiku in English is constantly evolving. Each generation produces its half dozen or so major haiku poets. In the early twenty-first century, more haiku poets have emerged. Here in 2016 and during the previous two years, Crystal Simone Smith has been winning awards for her haiku…. In fact, she writes in such a concise way that the reader might think he or she could imitate her style, but her subject matter with its union of mystery and social ills won’t allow one to do so. In Crystal Simone Smith’s first haiku collection titled WILD FLOWERS, however, there are stunning haiku.”

– LENARD D. MOORE,
President of the Haiku Society of America, 2008

$15.00 including shipping

Running Music

Longleaf Press, 2014

“I suppose it is not too unusual for a person to have family responsibilities, a job, and a vocation and for that person to find it hard to keep things ongoing and mostly under control. Running Music addresses this subject with candor, sometimes rueful humor, and always with a determined attitude, “Game face” they say these days.”

– FRED CHAPPELL,
North Carolina Poet Laureate, 1997-2002

$10.00 including shipping

Routes Home

Finishing Line Press, 2013

“As I read Routes Home again and again, I found myself deeply moved by the often heartbreaking—sometimes hilarious—moments illuminated within its pages and, at the same time, deeply impressed by their deft craftsmanship. Via Smith’s huge heart, brilliant mind, and observant eye, we travel these Routes Home with her. It is a journey of love and loss that leaves us inspired, instructed, and changed.”

– CATHY SMITH BOWERS,
North Carolina Poet Laureate, 2010-2012

$10.00 including shipping