Midwesterner, is a graduate of Muskingum
College and Kent State University (M.A.
and Ph.D). He is the author of eight
books of poetry, a book of
memoirs, four books of fiction, two
of authors Lawrence Ferlinghetti and
Kenneth Patchen, and two books of
translations from the Chinese. His photo
history of his hometown
appeared recently in the Images of
America Series. Two of his film
scripts on authors James Wright and
Kenneth Patchen have been made into
films shown on PBS. As a professor of
English and humanities at Bowling Green
State University’s Firelands College he
has taught writing and literature and
served as director of the Firelands
Writing Center, a cooperative of
writers. As director of the literary
publisher, Bottom Dog Press, Inc., he
has edited over 50 books and carried
into publication some 135 titles of
poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. In
addition, Smith is a consultant for
Wayne State University Press, and has
been a reviewer for
American Book Review, Parabola, Small
Press Review, Choice, The San Francisco
Review of Books, The Columbus Dispatch,
Ohioana Quarterly, Heartlands,
Journal of Books.
He is a requested presenter at various
writers’ conferences in Ohio, Michigan,
Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. His poetry
has been featured on American Public
with Garrison Keillor. His novel The
Free Farm will be released this year
from Bottom Dog Press
Fishing the Lake
What we came for,
and what arrives.
My grandson and I walk out the pier
all the way to the lighthouse,
carrying our fishing poles and gear
navigating the huge boulders
that drop off into a deep lake.
If he falls in, I will follow
unable to live with his loss.
I bring a bucket of shiners
that we will put back into the lake
two by two, hoping against wind
to draw out a perch or bass,
perhaps a great walleye
to celebrate the day together
in the sun and wind.
The steady hoot of the lighthouse,
the waves washing up on the rocks,
the old guy who shows him
how to bring it in without a snag.
We calculate then cast out,
letting go the line, learning to
sit and wait again and again.
What we came for, and what arrives.
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