William Jay Smith was born in Winnfield, Louisiana in 1918. He is the author of more than 50 books of poetry for adults and children, including The Tin Can and Other Poems (1966), Collected Poems, 1939-1989 (1990), and The Cherokee Lottery (2000). He has also published translations of French, Russian, Hungarian, and Swedish poets. Smith was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1968-1970. He was also a member and former vice-president for literature of the Academy of Arts and Letters. His other positions included poet in residence at Williams College from 1959-1967 and two years as chairman of the writing division of the School of Arts at Columbia University. A Professor Emeritus at Hollins College, Smith died in 2015.
Audio Recordings of William Jay Smith
- William Jay Smith reading his poems in the Mumford Room, Library of Congress, March 16, 2000