Rose M. Smith
Like compelling fiction, the poems in Unearthing Ida use multiple perspectives to meticulously reveal the title character. And like the best biography, they illuminate the social and cultural world of her time. Rose Smith brings Ida’s life slowly into focus as one poem after another exhumes “the rest of the story” and expands beyond a quiet woman’s journey into a place of insight and compassion. As I immersed myself in the lyrical voices offering their thoughts in everyday speech, I felt as if I was eavesdropping on private thoughts and intimate conversations. I’m grateful—not ashamed—that I did.
—Steve Abbott, author of A Language the Image Speaks