On Saturday, January 12th, at the University’s Visitor Center at 2712 Neyland Drive, the Department of English will be hosting a poetry reading in memory of Art Smith who passed away unexpectedly last semester. Dr. Smith dedicated his life to poetry, and this will provide a fitting occasion to honor his memory.
Dr. Smith passed away on Friday, November 9th, 2018 at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was 70 years old.
He was born in Stockton, California on April 17th, 1948. He received degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of Houston (Ph.D.).
To those who knew and loved him, he was a master teacher and masterful poet. His first book of poems, Elegy on Independence Day, was awarded the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and was published in 1985. That same year, it was selected by the Poetry Society of America to receive the Norma Farber First Book Award. His second book of poems, Orders of Affection, was published in 1996, and his third book, The Late World, was published in 2002. 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, at the time of his passing, he was 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.
On KnoxTNToday.com, Tracy Haun Owens, spoke about Smith’s teaching and mentoring in “Remembering Poet and Professor Arthur Smith.”