Virginia

In June 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Ron Smith the poet laureate of Virginia. Smith is the writer-in-residence and George O. Squires Chair of Distinguished Teaching at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond. He has authored three books of poetry—Its Ghostly Workshop (Louisiana State University Press, 2013), Moon Road: Poems 1986-2005 (Louisiana State University Press, 2007), and Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery (University Presses of Florida, 1988)—and has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, Southern Poetry Review’s Guy Owen Prize, and Poetry Northwest’s Theodore Roethke Prize. Smith will serve a two-year term. 

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Literary Organization Associated Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Virginia
Literary Organization Furious Flower Poetry Center Virginia
Literary Organization New Virginia Review Virginia
Literary Organization Poetry Daily Virginia
Literary Organization Poetry Society of Virginia Virginia
Literary Organization The Virginia Writers Club Virginia
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Book People Virginia
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Busboys and Poets Virginia
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poems

poem
Just past dusk I passed Christiansburg,
cluster of lights sharpening
as the violet backdrop of the Blue Ridge
darkened. Not stars
but blue-black mountains rose
before me, rose like sleep
after hours of driving, hundreds of miles
blurred behind me. My eyelids
were so heavy but I could see
far ahead a summer
poem
I’m older than my father when he turned
bright gold and left his body with its used-up liver
in the Faulkner Hospital, Jamaica Plain.  I don’t 
believe in the afterlife, don’t know where he is 
now his flesh has finished rotting from his long 
bones in the Jewish Cemetery—he could be the only 
convert under