English poet, born in East Yorkshire, educated at Leeds University. The Pity (1967) introduced Smith as a nature poet with a stronger human focus than T. Hughes. Smith's work then appeared fugitively until Bloodaxe Books published Burned Books (1981) and The Poet Reclining: Selected Poems 1962–1980 (1982), which showed Smith's kinship with American speech‐based poetry when dealing, in fragmentary or overheard form, with themes of loss and exile. Fox Running (1980) applies these methods to a period of breakdown in London. Terra (1986) is Smith's reading of the Thatcher–Reagan years ‘from below’, while Wormwood (1987) draws on experience as writer in residence at HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs. A Book of Chinese Whispers (1986) collects his short fiction.