Erin Elizabeth Smith

Erin Elizabeth Smith (Poetry) | Knoxville, TN

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Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length collections, The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake, 2011) and The Fear of Being Found, which will be re-released from Zoetic Press later this year. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, 32 Poems, Zone 3, Gargoyle, Tusculum Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and teaches a bit of everything in the English Department at the University of Tennessee. She serves as the managing editor of Sundress Publications and The Wardrobe.


The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake, 2011). Poetry.
The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press, 2007). Reprinted by Zoetic Press, 2016. Poetry.


  • Skate or Die (Dusie Press 2013)
  • The Chainsaw Bears (dancing girl press 2009)

Press & Reviews

Erin Elizabeth Smith’s The Naming of Strays is on fire in the best possible way–the poems sizzle with sensuality, celebrating all the senses in the way that the best blues music tips us from sadness into full-throated joy. The poems keep moving, shifting, defying expectations, singing the literal and the dream world, exalting the narrative and the experimental. I will recommend this book for poetry workshops as a primer on what poetry is and can do. And for seasoned readers, Erin Elizabeth Smith’s work reminds us of why we fell in love with poetry in the first place.
—Marilyn Kallet, Director, Creative Writing Program, University of Tennessee

Erin Elizabeth Smith’s poems are delicious – it is hard to resist them. But they bite back, and that is the thing: they’re painful, too. And gorgeous, always. The Naming the Strays is luminous, intimate, and never afraid.
—Paul Guest, author of My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge

Erin Elizabeth Smith’s poetry is the impossible love child of a young Jorie Graham and a old bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
—T.A. Noonan, author of Petticoat Government & The Bone Folders

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