William Jay Smith, the author of more than
fifty books of poetry, translation, children’s books, and
literary criticism, has a distinguished publishing career spanning
years. He served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress
(the position now called Poet Laureate) from 1968 to 1970, and
he has been a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters since 1975.
He has received awards from the French Academy and the Swedish
Academy. For his contributions to the promotion of Hungarian culture,
the government of Hungary has awarded him the Gold Medal for Labor
and the Pro Cultura Hungarica Award. Among the most recent of his
ten poetry publications are The Cherokee Lottery (Curbstone,
2000) and The World Beneath the Window: Poems 1937-1997 (Johns
Hopkins, 1998). Two of his poetry collections were finalists for
the National Book Award. He divides his time between Cummington,
Massachusetts, and Paris.
Photo by Robert Turney