It’s not often that a poem goes viral. But it happened in 2016, with “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. It speaks to anyone who’s concerned about the current state of our world — which is probably most of us. It’s honest, and hopeful, and feels like a friend taking your arm, maybe a little bit too firmly, and saying, “We can get through this.”
So I was delighted when I was asked to interview Maggie at the Writers’ Block Festival, an annual gathering put on by Louisville Literary Arts. She and I were onstage at Spalding University’s College Street Building on a Saturday morning, in front of an appreciative audience of writers, poets, agents, and publishers.
On the runaway success of “Good Bones”:
“As poets, we’re used to having our audience be other poets, which is fairly small, so even when non-poets read our poems, it feels like a win. So to have that many non-poets read a poem feels pretty strange, but also wonderful. I’m glad that something that I wrote out of my own anxiety as a parent maybe provided some comfort for other people — which is never my intention. Whenever I’m writing, …