poem index

poet

R. T. Smith

Washington , DC , United States
R. T. Smith

R. T. Smith was born in Washington, DC in 1947, and raised in Georgia and North Carolina. His books of poetry include The Hollow Log Lounge (University of Illinois Press, 2003), Brightwood (Louisiana State University Press, 2003), Messenger (2001), Split the Lark: Selected Poems (1999), Trespasser (1996), Hunter-Gatherer (1996), The Cardinal Heart (1991), and From the High Dive (1983). He has also published a collection of stories entitled Faith (1995) and edited Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (2003) with Sarah Kennedy. Trespasser and The Cardinal Heart were both nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Smith's other honors include grants in literature from Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. He has taught at Appalachian State University; Auburn University, where he served as Alumni Writer-in-Residence and co-editor of Southern Humanities Review; and Washington and Lee University. He has been a resident at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Ireland, the Millay Colony, and the Wurlitzer Foundation, and in 1998 he was Artist-in-Residence at the National Historical Park at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. R. T. Smith lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and has edited Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review since 1995.

by this poet

poem
Out for a deadbolt, light bulbs 
and two-by-fours, I find a flock 
of sparrows safe from hawks

and weather under the roof 
of Lowe's amazing discount 
store. They skitter from the racks

of stockpiled posts and hoses 
to a spill of winter birdseed 
on the concrete floor. How

they know to forage here, 
I can't