Smither reveals wild side over tea and cake

NZ poet laureate Elizabeth Smither was a guest speaker at the recent Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival. A journalist interviewing her for the Malaysian Star was amazed at her calm and easygoing persona, which seemed to be at odds with her intense artistic output. “I have a surface that looks conforming,” she agreed, “but French novelist Gustave Flaubert had it right about ‘keeping your surface bourgeois, and being wild underneath. I think the wildness should go in the writing, that’s the best place for it.” Based in New Plymouth, 65-year-old Smither has published 15 collections of poetry, five novels and four collections of short stories. Says New York critic  Nicholas Birns, “Smither writes concise, intelligent poems that sometimes exhort, sometimes muse, sometimes simply watch.”


Tags: Elizabeth Smither  Kuala Lumpur  Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival  New Plymouth  New York City  poet laureate  Star (The)  

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