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Cote Smith map
Cote Smith photo

Cote Smith

(photo by Mick Cottin)

Hurt People book cover













Cote Smith grew up in Leavenworth and on various army bases around the country. He earned his MFA from the University of Kansas, and his work has been featured in One Story, Crazyhorse, Third Coast and Five Chapters, among others. Smith lives in Lawrence.

---taken from Hurt People book jacket

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Bibliography (- housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  


  • Hurt People (FSG Originals, 2016)

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Writing Samples  

           We lived in Leavenworth, a city famous for its prisons. My brother and I could name all four. There was the county jail, where the local felons lived; the women's preson, where all the bad wives and mothers went; and there was the juvenile correctional facility, home to the troubled young. But it was the federal penitentiary, stuck on a hill between Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth, that loomed over everything. At school I'd seen pictures of palaces of kings and queens. This prison was bigger than all of them. Tall walls of concrete a mile long. Layers of barbed-wire fences. Guards perched in scattered sniper towers, in case anyone tried to escape. This is what happens. She like to remind us that when someone did something wrong, they were always punished, one way or another. And in our case, she said, living where we did, the punishment was always close. Waiting.

            "I'll make you boys a deal," my mother said one morning. The tree of us were in the kitchen, sitting at our small square table. Sitting down, our mother towered over us. She was taller than most women, even minus her huge head of hair. But she was also very skinny, something she passed on to me. Random people told us we needed to eat.

---from page 4 in Hurt People

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Cote Smith website

The Rumpus interview (2016)

Kirkus Review

Onestory, Inc. (2009)

NewsOK review (2016)

University News

Lawrence Journal World interview

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