It is for his book of short fiction, “Uke Rivers Delivers,” that Smith was invited to speak at Transylvania. “Cold Mountain” author Charles Frazier wrote of “Uke Rivers Delivers,” that “this collection of stories is funny, amazing, daring. Its polyphonic voices of Civil War ghosts, broken innocents, and confused killers lead you down contrarian trails deep into the haunted territory of Southern myth and magic. This is the most enjoyment I’ve gotten from a batch of fiction in a longer span of time than I care to recollect.”
Smith was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Georgia and North Carolina. He attended Georgia Tech, the University of North Carolina Charlotte and received his master’s in English from Appalachian State University, where he founded “Cold Mountain Review,” which publishes poems by and interviews with national and international poets. For 19 years, Smith taught at Auburn University, serving as alumni writer-in-residence for 12 years and holding many positions, including the co-editorship at “Southern Humanities Review.” Since 1995, Smith has served as editor of “Shenandoah” for Washington and Lee University, where he also teaches creative writing and literature courses.
Smith has received a number of prizes for his work, including the Cohen Prize from “Ploughshares,” the Guy Owen Prize from “Southern Humanities Review” and the Richard Hugo Prize from “Poetry Northwest.” He has had his short fiction selected for “The Pushcart Prize,” “Best American Short Stories” and “New Stories From the South (2002, 2004 and 2006).” A recent poem will be included in “Best American Poems, 2008.” He is currently working on a new collection of short fiction to be called “Ina Grove and Other Stories.”
Copies of Smith’s books will be on sale at the reading, and will be available in Transylvania’s campus bookstore prior to the reading. For more information, contact the public relations office at (859) 233-8120.