November 10, 2017
Shadows Within the Roaring Fork extends the range and enriches the substance of Jared Smith’s visionary poetry. While many American poets register their personal psychic stresses by embracing fragmentation, discontinuity, and easy ironies, Smith’s approach is coherent, wide-ranging, unabashedly direct, and fiercely humane. Like Blake, Whitman, Jeffers, and Thomas McGrath, Jared Smith refuses to speak just for himself: in these poems, the personal and the transpersonal form a kind of confluence, each stream joining and energizing the other. This is necessary poetry—the kind that offers readers the gift of realizing they are necessary as well.
– Joseph Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate
Jared Smith has long been one of the chief torchbearers of American poetry, navigating a variety of social, political, and existential themes, and consistently via a voice that is uniquely his.
– John Amen, Editor and Publisher of The Pedestal Magazine
Jared Smith’s dazzling poetry brings to mind one word above all: generosity. Generosity of the human spirit and mind, of the word, and of the connectedness that binds human to human, human to nature, and nature to the larger universe. As he puts it: ‘”It is just these littlest things now / that carry light across the universe / and make life of it. You know.” We know, but we also urgently need the poet to remind us, now more than ever. Our country, our language, and our globe are enriched by this vibrant, powerful, unflinching poet.
– Eleanor Goodman, Translator of Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Worker Poetry