Frederick Smock is currently serving as Kentucky’s 2017/18 Poet Laureate. He is a Professor of English at Bellarmine University where he received the 2005 Wyatt Faculty Award. The founding editor of the international literary journal The American Voice, he is the author of a dozen published or forthcoming collections of poetry and literary essays. His work has appeared widely in US and international journals, and his prizes include the 2002 Henry Leadingham Poetry Prize, the 2003 Jim Wayne Miller Prize for Poetry, and the 2008 Kentucky Literary Award for Poetry. His is also the recipient of an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.
In this little volume of essays, Frederick Smock shares his appreciation for all that poetry brings to his life, and invites readers to share in his good fortune. Part “lit-crit” chapbook, part annotated commonplace book, the meditations collected here touch often on the theme of preparedness, both in how a poet must be prepared in a variety of ways to respond and give form to the inspiration to create verse, and in the task of the reader to complete the poem by finding the individual meaning that the poem has for him or herself. For all who love poetry, but especially for those who do not yet realize that they do, this is gift of joy.