Arthur Smith was born in central California. He has received degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of Houston (Ph.D.). He passed away on November 9th, 2018.
His first book of poems, Elegy on Independence Day, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 1985. That same year, it was selected by the Poetry Society of American to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award. His second book of poems, Orders of Affection, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 1996, and his third book, The Late World, was published in 2002, also by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His most recent book of poems is The Fortunate Era (2013).
His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and he was selected as the Theodore Morrison Fellow in Poetry for the 1987 Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. He served two terms as an advisory member of the Tennessee Arts Commission Literary Panel, and he is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and North American Review.