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Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith



Of the surface of the earth, generals know only

two dimensions: 

whatever rises is a fort, 

whatever spreads is a battlefield.

-Saadi Youssef


Kevin specializes in modern and contemporary Arabic poetry and fiction with an interest in developments in modernist-inflected free verse poetry (al-sh’ir al-hurr) as well as in critical theory. His dissertation focuses on changes in 20th & 21st century warfare as understood through political economy and corresponding formalizations of war in poetry, using the military occupations of Iraq and responses to them in Arabic and Anglophone poetry as exemplars. Connecting avant-garde poetics and the break with regimented meter and syntax to the intensified guerrillazation and totalization of war in late capitalism, he is interested in how poetry’s unique formal intersections of spatial and temporal coordinates may offer an advantageous entryway to register the otherwise unrepresentable experience of postmodern war.



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