Although Heather Smith’s astonishing first book is located, mostly, in the conflagration of human meaning that was Bosnia in the 1990’s, it’s a collection that, in an unforgettable way, examines the terrifying bitterness and danger of contemporary life, when, There are flashes of light strobing from the windows/ of the Holiday Inn…/ They are shooting at us from the Holiday Inn. What does it mean, now, to give witness? The language of devestation courses through this book, and seems to course through the poet herself. Smith’s sweeping current of voices is somehow both individual and a great collective outcry. Each End of the World is a devastating performance.

–Mark Doty

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