William Jay Smith

William Jay Smith (born April 22, 1918) is an American poet. Born in Winnfield, Louisiana, Smith has studied at Washington University, Columbia University, and Cambridge University as a Rhodes scholar. He was appointed as Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (the position now called Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress) from 1968 to 1970. A member of the Academy of Arts and Letters since 1975, Smith is noted for his translations for which he has garnered awards from the French Academy, Swedish Academy, and the Hungarian government. Smith is the author of ten collections of poetry of which two have been awarded the National Book Award. He presently lives in houses located in both Cummington, Massachusetts and Paris, France. He serves as the Professor Emeritus of English at Hollins University.

Smith's play "The Straw Market" appeared in in Spring 2006.


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