In stock (can be backordered)

Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry

Home Remedy

Publication Date: September 2017


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Home Remedy was originally published by Nomadic.

Norma Smith’s poems come out of a long life filled with its share of grief and healing, thwarted and unthwarted love, sex, and words. Home Remedy reflects the tension and ease of finding the cure for what ails you at home, among family and lovers. More experienced than innocent, the poems are deeply sensual, which means they can be painful. The book is full of skepticism and hope. Home Remedy will take you through to a place where you can see that life is much more complicated than mortality.


Norma Smith’s words have their feet planted firmly, balance with certainty, and lay claim to a wealth of experience. This work is kitchen philosophy, emergency room direct and grandma’s china beautiful. If poetry is medicine there are indeed cures in Home Remedy. ‘We survive by laying down breadcrumbs,’ says Smith, and I remember doing something like that. Some of us will recognize ourselves in these poems, some will see the future in these brewed tea leaf words. Not many poets create work that have the potential to change the way that their readers use language. Norma Smith may well be one of those.
-Kim Shuck

How does one make a home inside the suspended breath of diagnosis, or find laughter in the face of the limited use of one’s body? How can we conjure sweet, nostalgic pain with courage and open arms? Norma Smith’s collection reminds us how to connect to ourselves and to one another in a world of forced battles. Her poems encourage personal healing; they call us to resist the fading and silence of inevitable change and loss. Home Remedy is a ceremony of recovery and re-envisioning made possible through humor, witness, and full participation in all the spaces we inhabit: from the body, to memory, to the open ocean horizon that calls us to humble ourselves before the natural world. Invite in the medicine of these poems and allow yourself to ‘leap / some chasm that [lies] between / body and time.’
-Suzy Huerta Quezada

Norma Smith’s Home Remedy is compelling, clever, and tender. Her devotion to technique and truth-telling thrive in this personal collection of poetry. Norma’s swift and cunning words will both haunt you and throw you into a fit of dark giggles.
-Kelechi Ubozoh

Norma Smith writes with an immediate and honest longing that cuts straight to the heart. She braves the universal subjects of disease, death, food, family and then–we get to end with sex–the slutty muse, sex on the couch and the floor! Norma fearlessly takes some surprising, exciting risks that spark joy. This work is heartbreaking and beautiful, revealing moments of beauty and love that exist inside of painful circumstances.
-Jennifer Barone

About the Author

© Ruth Snyder

Norma Smith

Norma Smith has led lives as a journalist, as a translator/interpreter, as a social researcher, educator, editor, and writing coach. She spent many years working in hospitals, including some years as a union steward and as a member of the medical center’s ethics committee. Norma has been a community activist and organizer since she was a teenager, principally in the arena of anti-racism and smashing white supremacy. She has coordinated conferences, events, poetry readings, and study groups.

Norma has been writing poetry and stories since about the time she learned to read. Her writing has been published in literary, political, and scholarly journals. She is interested in social power dynamics. Including love. Nomadic Press published Norma’s first book of poems, Home Remedy in 2017.

Norma lives in Huichin, unceded Lisjan/Ohlone territory, east of San Francisco Bay.

Visit Author Page