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Cover for Thrust



Heather Derr-Smith


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In the tradition of Dorothy Allison, these poems find power in their renderings of an abused Southern girlhood.  

Winner of the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award, this potent collection revisits a backwoods Virginia marred by sexual violence. In explosive poems, which explore the confluence of trauma and desire, Heather Derr-Smith reclaims a troubled past, empowering the present through an unlikely chorus of grace and fury.

Praise For Thrust: Poems

In her latest work, a Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award winner, Derr-Smith uses an intently packed, beautifully crafted pile-up of images to explore a rural Southern upbringing defined by the ugliness of abuse. In a world shaped by violence, by the casual male assumption of authority, and part of “a family of seekers, pick ax and lust,” she’s a girl pursuing the intensity of experience on her own terms. Passion thrums through these poems as counterbalance and power, and there’s uneasy satisfaction in watching the speaker turn her mean world around to her advantage so that finally “She outlasted them all.” 
— Library Journal (Starred Review)

Persea, 9780892554867, 96pp.

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

About the Author

Heather Derr Smith is the author of three previous collections of poems, mostly recently Tongue Screw. She lives and teaches in Des Moines, Iowa.