1 minute read

Dave Smith (Dave Jeddie Smith) Biography

(1942– ), (Dave Jeddie Smith), Rocky Mountain Review, Southern Review, Bull Island, The Fisherman's Whore

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lemn Sissay Biography to Southwold Suffolk

American poet, born in Portsmouth, Virginia, educated at the University of Virginia, Southern Illinois, and Ohio University. Among several distinguished academic and editorial posts, Smith has served as literary editor of the Rocky Mountain Review, editor of Southern Review, and in 1982 became Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. His work is characterized by his Virginian identity, together with an ability to contemplate the history, locality, and experience of the South. Influenced formally by the verse narratives of Robert Penn Warren, Smith began by writing about Poquoson, a fishing village bordering the Chesapeake Bay, in Bull Island (1970). In The Fisherman's Whore (1974) and Cumberland Station (1976) he continues to view the area's ruination, poverty, and pollution with a bitter compassion. Helen Vendler has praised Smith's ‘passionately Southern descriptiveness’, qualities especially evident in the powerful sequence Gray Soldiers (1983); ‘On a Field Trip at Fredericksburg’, which memorializes the Civil War dead in contemporary terms, and ‘Night Fishing for Blues’ are among his most admired poems. His collections include In the House of the Judge (1983) and Cuba Night (1990). Night Pleasures: New and Selected Poems appeared in 1992.

Additional topics