Marty Smith still keeps a secret longing to do one more round of a racecourse on a quiet horse. There is accidental documentary footage in MEDIA of her riding a gallop on the July Course at Newmarket, England, in 1982, in slo-mo to music.
She has been awarded an arts grant to work on an inter-connected book of non-fiction and poetry, an exploration of the racing world through the vernacular.
Her poems appear in Best New Zealand Poems 2009 and 2011. In 2014 Agnus Dei was short-listed for the Bridport Prize (UK) and was a place-getter in the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize (US).
Her debut collection of poetry, Horse with Hat, is a conversation with her father, who loved books and ideas but found it hard to breach his habitual silence. Brendan O'Brien's collages, cut out of a family Bible and Garth Smith's cigarette card collection, make their own elliptical music. As in the poems, figures in the collages appear, disappear, then make another entrance in a different configuration.
Horse with Hat was a finalist for Poetry in the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards and won the Jesse Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry.