Chinquapins by R.T. Smith
In the short short stories of Chinquapins R. T. Smith exposes crucial moments in the lives of Appalachian characters and culture while exploring thresholds between poetry and prose, as songbirds fall from the sky, borders are violated and old war wounds linger over in the hills and hollers. Whether the issue at hand involves dulcimers, mill accidents, bear hunts or lost children, passion and peril entwine in a hardscrabble world where the sorrowful lyrics of ballads and the robust vernacular of the rural Blue Ridge Mountains echo on the wind.
R. T. Smith’s stories are moving, violent and beautiful. . . . The Calaboose Epistles confirms that Smith is not just one of the South’s strongest and most compelling voices, but one of America’s.–Bret Anthony Johnston
R. T. Smith’s “Ina Grove” is a little bit of everything: it’s a mystery. . . , a searching exploration of individual psychology, and a story with a beginning, a middle and an end – several of them, in fact. It is also a work of imposing literary art. — Scott Turow in The Best American Mystery Stories, 2006
These flavorful pieces [Uke Rivers Delivers] reside firmly in the tradition of great Southern storytelling. –– Kirkus Reviews
R.T. Smith’s flash fictions can be found on the following websites: Blackbird, Virginia Literary Journal, Prime, Sequestrum, Story/Houston, Better: Lit & Art and in the pages of Virginia Quarterly Review and Missouri Review. His longer stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South, Zoetrope and others. He has edited Shenandoah since 1995.