Smith, Dave, 1942-

Poet Dave Smith (David Jeddie Smith, pseudonym Smith Cornwell) was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, on December 19, 1942. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Virginia in 1965, his M.A. from Southern Illinois University in 1969, and his Ph.D. from Ohio University in 1976. He served in the United States Air Force from 1969-1972, reaching the rank of staff sergeant. Smith began his career as a high school teacher of English and French and football coach in Poquoson High School in Virginia and has taught English and creative writing at colleges and universities throughout the United States. As of 2006, he was the Elliot Coleman professor of Poetry and department chair at Johns Hopkins University.

In the late 1960s, Smith began publishing poetry in numerous little magazines and journals. After publishing several volumes of collected poetry, Smith gained critical recognition as one of the most significant poets to emerge in the United States during the 1970s. Smith was twice runner-up for Pulitzer Prize in Poetry (1979, 1981) and one of five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Prize (Poetry, 1979). He received multiple awards and fellowships from other organizations.

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