Laurie Smith

Windsor Author Laurie Smith openly admits she likes to eat her steak rare.

It’s the kind of fact that would normally be trivial at best, but as the author of a new collection of poetry called “Said the Cannibal: Poems With Bite”, Laurie’s preference of steak style adds to the overall mystique of the book’s release.

The collection, recently published by Urban Farmhouse Press, touches on something most of us would find unfathomable – the act of cannibalism. In the book, Laurie uses her years as a local author, editor and workshop coach to dive deep into a wide array of murders, flesh eaters and historic tales. She somehow turns it into a unique collection of well-researched sin that is both fun and dark all at the same time.

“This whole project started two years ago when I was watching an episode of Secrets of the Dead which talked about cannibalism,” says Laurie. “I experimented with recreating the life of a character named Jane Doe, who was cannibalized herself. I wrote a poem about her called Jane Was Eaten and presented it to my publisher. He immediately asked if I could do a book of these and that’s when I started researching about cannibalism – everything from Gilligan’s Island to the vile things we know about Jeffrey Dahmer.”

Said The CannibalOnce word got out, family, friends and fans started to send her material on the subject. Initially she started thinking her friends were a little weird, but then she dove in to the wealth of resources she collected.

“As I started going through the materials I found the concept really fascinating,” she notes. “In light of our current fascination with zombies and flesh eating creatures, it was easy to see that there are both serious and comical aspects to the topic of cannibalism. The result is a book with a lot of dark comedy in it.”

Laurie is long-time Riverside resident and is well-known amongst Riversiders as the author of several books, including the popular collection “The Truth About Roller Skating”, which illustrated a childhood spent in the suburbs of Riverside in the 1960s and 70s.

As well as writing her own books, she’s a co-publisher at Cranberry Tree Press, a cooperative publishing service that assists those interested in self-publishing their own works. She also hosts regular creative writing workshops in the city.

Laurie is the first ever recipient of the Adele Wiseman Poetry Prize. a two-time winner of the Mayor’s Awards of Excellence in the Arts, and has won numerous additional awards for poetry and short fiction. Some of her other works include “gall/stones”, “One Ninth of a Cat’s Life”, and “Menagerie”.

“Said the Cannibal” is available at select bookstores in the city, through its publisher Urban Farmhouse Press and at Amazon.

Watch for our review of “Said The Cannibal” next week.

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