William Jay Smith

(b. 1918)

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Louisianaborn poet whose education came from Washington University, St. Louis, a Rhodes Scholarship, and graduate study in Florence and whose later affiliations include service in the navy, membership in the Vermont House of Representatives, and teaching at Williams and at Hollins College (1965–). He is married to the poet Barbara Howes. His poetry is as various as his career, as may be seen in Poems (1947); Celebration at Dark (1950), lyrics of diverse styles and moods; The Tin Can (1966), long poems and translations of Voznesensky; Mr. Smith (1968), light and nonsense verse for children; Poems from Italy (1972), translations; Venice in the Fog (1975); The Telephone (1978), a verse adaptation of a Russian children's story; The Traveler's Tree (1980), new and selected poems; and A Green Place: Modern Poems (1982). The Spectra Hoax (1961), dealing in part with the parodies of Witter Bynner and A.D. Ficke, and The Streaks of the Tulip (1972) are critical works. Army Brat (1980) is a memoir of his youth.

Subjects: Literature.

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