Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Smith was the first in his family to graduate from college, going on to pursue a Masters and Ph.D.
Smith’s poetry has won several major awards, and he has received many major fellowships. On Dave Smith’s poetry:
“Noting that Smith’s work is ‘reclaiming the grittiness of ordinary life for lyric,’ critic Helen Vendler observed in a 2001 review of The Wick of Memory, ‘Wordsworth came closer to what one encounters reading Dave Smith when he observed that once a work of art is created, it takes its unforced place as one of the elements of nature, to be encountered and prized by the passerby as much as any river, meadow, or mountain.’” (PoetryFoundation.org)
Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004
The Wick of Memory: New and Selected Poems, 1970-2000