Curtis Smith is the author of five previous books of fiction. His stories and essays have appeared in over seventy literary journals and have been cited by The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best American Spiritual Writing.  He lives and works in Pennsylvania with his wife and son. 
“There are elements in these stories we recognize—the vacation story, the murder mystery, Godzilla, geometry—and their brilliance is how Curtis Smith takes these expectations and plays with and against them, twisting, pulling, bringing us along wherever he goes. There are surprises, plot twits, playful language and form, shifts in emotion that catch you off guard. Most importantly, Smith infuses these stories with humor. He surprises you with it; he alleyoops comedic setups, then grabs you and breaks your heart, leaving you wondering what just happened." 
  — Aaron Burch, Editor, Hobart

“Curtis Smith’s characters walk a thin line separating light and darkness, and when they stumble—as they invariably do—they fall into the dark side, into a world of hurt and crime—or worse. Men and monsters: we soon come to realize, there’s really little difference between the two. How easily his characters step into the shoes of killers, how perfectly they wear the skin of Godzilla. These are not tales to calm our jackrabbity hearts.” 
  — Jim Clark, Editor, The Greensboro Review
The Species Crown
by Curtis Smith

252 pages 
ISBN 978-0-9793049-0-3

“With sensibility and wit, Curtis Smith renders a world of charm and chaos. Smith is a writer of substance and talent, and Bad Monkey is a jungle of delight.” 
  — Kim Chinquee, author of Oh Baby

“Reading Curtis Smith’s prose is like listening to a brilliant electric guitar solo: you not only hear the music, you fall into it head-first until it alters the beat of your heart, the rhythm of your breathing. Do yourself a favor and put Bad Monkey on your must-read list.”  
  — John McNally, author of Ghosts of Chicago and The
      Book of Ralph

“These stories brim with the energy of crime fiction and the ambition of high literature. Each piece in this collection achieves sublimity: that ineffable moment when the unanticipatable become the inevitable. Wonderful alone and, in concert, magnificent.”  
  — Pinckney Benedict, author of Miracle Boy and Other 
Praise for The Species Crown
Bad Monkey
by Curtis Smith

153 pages 
ISBN 978-0-9824416-5-7

Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314

Curtis Smith
Praise for Bad Monkey
Beasts and Men
by Curtis Smith

160 pages 
ISBN 978-1-935708-75-9
Praise for Beasts and Men

“In stories both simple and profound, quiet, yet courageous, and always breathtaking, Curtis Smith’s Beasts and Men showcases the power, the assured voice, and the essential compassion of a writer at the top of his game. A collection of uncommon range and depth. I recommend it wholeheartedly.” 
—Kathy Fish, author of Together We Can Bury It and Wild Life

"Curtis Smith writes with a precisionist’s eye and captures many of the unfathomable mysteries of contemporary American life. He reinvigorates the short-short form, conjuring narratives that turn on the sound of children’s voices, the static tableau of a museum diorama, the plume of a dive. His longer stories discern private life in a voice at once measured, balanced, and alive. I expect to keep reading every new piece this author writes.” 
—Kirby Gann, author of Ghosting

“What you feel first is the simplicity—of sentences, of tone, of description—but then before you know it, complexity has crept in on every level, and by the end of each of these stories you are left marveling at the layers of life history and humanity Curtis Smith has evoked. Beasts and Men, compressed, poetic, poignant, and compassionate, contains some of the best very short fiction I have read in a very long time.” 
—Robin Black, author of If I loved you, I would tell you this

Born in Chicago, Suzanne Stryk currently lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. She has shown her conceptual nature paintings in solo exhibits throughout the United States, including the Morris Museum of Art (GA), the United States Botanic Garden (D.C.), The Eleanor B. Wilson Museum (VA) and Gallery 180, The Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. In 2005 a mid-career survey of the artist’s work, “Second Nature: The Art of Suzanne Stryk,” was organized by the William King Museum, an affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Her images have appeared in numerous publications, with full portfolios in Shenandoah, Ecotone, and Orion. Collections including her paintings are the Smithsonian (D.C.), The David Brower Center (Berkeley, CA), The National Academy of Sciences (D.C.), and the Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, VA). Her series of drawings, Genomes and Daily Observations, appears in the Viewing Program at The Drawing Center (New York, NY). She is the recipient of a 2007 George Sugarman Foundation grant and a 2010-11 Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship for her project, “Notes on the State of Virginia.” To learn more about Suzanne, please visit

Meet Cover Artist Suzanne Stryk