J.D. Smith

J.D. Smith (CNF, Poetry) | Washington, DC

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J.D. Smith has published three collections, Labor Day at Venice Beach (2012), Settling for Beauty (2005), and The Hypothetical Landscape (1999). His books in other genres include the humor collection Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth (2013), the essay collection Dowsing and Science (2011), and the children’s picture book The Best Mariachi in the World (2008). Awarded a Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2007, he has also been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His individual poems have appeared in The Able Muse, American Arts Quarterly, Dogwood, Light and Nimrod, as well as numerous other publications, and his prose has appeared in Boulevard, Chelsea, The Laurel Review and The Los Angeles Times. Born in Aurora, Illinois and educated at American University, the University of Chicago, Carleton University and the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, he works as an editor and writer in Washington, DC, where he lives with his wife Paula Van Lare and their rescue animals.


The Killing Tree (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Poetry.
Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth (Cassowary Press , 2013). Humor/Essays. CNF.
Labor Day at Venice Beach (Cherry Grove Collections, 2012). Poetry.

Dowsing and Science: Essays (Texas Review Press, 2011) . Essays. CNF.
Settling for Beauty (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005). Poetry.

The Hypothetical Landscape (Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Series, 1999). [Out of Print]. Poetry.

Press & Reviews

Smith limns scenes from youth and anticipated age with the droll pithiness of a Philip Larkin and the compression of a haiku master. The overall effect is uncanny: although tonally varied, the poems seem postcards from a life carefully introspected and guardedly lived. Indeed, the Horacian piquancy of Smith’s stance–and his representation of seemingly autobiographical circumstances as archetypal, rather than indecipherably individual–adds heft to this, his third collection.
—Heather Treseler, American Book Review

Divided into four sections exploring mortality, the amorality of nature, the role of citizens in country and world, and the consequences of travel in that world, the poems are “straight and real.”
—Carmen Germain, Verse Wisconsin

Smith’s poems keep the reader in this temporal world where we are asking difficult things of our lives and the lives of others, and that process becomes part and parcel of his work.
—Ann E. Michaels, Umbrella Journal

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