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Winner of the 2018 Independent Publishers Book Award for Essay/Creative Nonfiction


ISBN: 978-0-9988014-1-4

Binding: Trade Paper

Pages: 145

Author: Mike Smith

Publication date: September 14, 2017


A moving nonfiction debut by Mississippi Delta poet Mike Smith. This memoir-in-essays tracks the loss of Smith’s first wife to cancer after the birth of the second child, offering a portrait of marriage, family, and tragedy. In honest, and at times darkly comic terms, Smith documents the strange set of coincidences between his first wife's illness and his stepdaughter's similar battle the year his second marriage began, and examines blended families, remarriage, helping children find ways to cope with the loss of a parent, and the influence of spirituality upon loss.


Praise for And There Was Evening and There Was Morning
What a gift Mike Smith has given us in the pages of And There Was Evening and There Was Morning. He tells of his “two Emilys,” as first his wife and, later, his stepdaughter battle cancer, one dying and one surviving. He is a clear-eyed and trustworthy guide through the harrowing kingdoms of illness and grieving. His prose is nuanced, his voice considered and considerate, his wisdom hard-earned but never bitter. There is beauty and solace here and gorgeous imagery. Smith has written a book for all of us who are dying—which is to say, all of us who are living, and our lives will be the better for having read it.  —Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling

Brimming with hard-earned truths, Smith's memoir doesn't simply plumb the depths of grief. He deftly weaves in his late wife's brilliant theological insights and his own strong tether to literature while telling a sweeping love story that is also about loss and hope and renewal. What I love most is that this isn't a book about learning to let go but instead learning that the heart can expand to hold more love.  —Julianna Baggott, author of Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders

Seductive to read, it is a minefield of heartbreak on every page... The book is a stunned, out of body experience; we have all heard of these exuberantly tragic stories that happen to friends of friends, neighbors down the street. But Smith, a reflective and precise writer, invites us to walk each step with him as his heart is annihilated by the sort of tragedy we beg, beg God will never come our way.  —Tony D’Souza, author of Whiteman and Mule: A Novel of Moving Weight

About the author:

Born in the mountains of West Virginia and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina, Mike Smith graduated from the University of North Carolina, one semester after proposing to his first wife, Emily. They married the next year, after he received his MA from Hollins College, and, one year after that, he followed her to the University of Notre Dame, where she worked toward her PhD in Theology and he pursued his MFA in poetry. He has published three collections of poetry, and his translation of the first part of Goethe’s Faust was published by Shearsman Books in 2012. He is co-editor of the anthology, Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text, published by Columbia University Press. Recently, the critic Robert Archambeau has called Mike “the American poet of my generation most clearly writing in a Byronic mode.” For the last seven years, he has lived with his second wife Jennifer, their five children, deep in the Mississippi Delta. By day, he is an associate professor of English and directs the Honors Program at Delta State University.


Read an interview with Mike Smith here.


Course adoptions
And There Was Evening and There Was Morning is perfect for course adoptions and may be used in a number of classes, including literature seminars, creative writing workshops, and others. Supplemental educational materials prepared by WTAW Director of Studies Michael Collins are available to those who adopt our books. Professors may also receive a complimentary exam copy. Please contact us directly. You can also order the book through our distributor, Small Press Distribution.

And There Was Evening and There Was Morning by Mike Smith

SKU: ANWE091417P
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