Photo by Paula Van Lare


My books include my fourth poetry collection The Killing Tree, to be published in July 2016 by Finishing Line Press, and three previous collections Settling for Beauty (Cherry Grove Collections,​smith.html), my first collection, The Hypothetical Landscape (Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Series), and the edited anthology Northern Music: Poems About and Inspired by Glenn Gould (John Gordon Burke, Publisher). My children’s book The Best Mariachi in the World is forthcoming from Raven Tree Press ( in September 2008. My poems have received three Pushcart nominations, and my essays and reviews have appeared in American Book Review, Grist and Pleiades. My literary and crime fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, including Orchid and Thug Lit ( and will appear in the forthcoming anthology Hardcore Hardboiled. My poems have been anthologized in the collections In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (University of Iowa Press), Poetic Voices without Borders (Gival Press), and Illuminations: Expressions of the Personal Spiritual Experience (Ten Speed Press). Among widely circulating publications, my poem "Aubade" appeared in the September-October 2006 issue of The Bark. My op-ed "Pop Viagra and Save a Rhino" appeared in the Los Angeles Times in May of 2006.

Educated at American University in Washington, DC, the University of Chicago, the University of Houston Creative Writing Program and Carleton University in Ontario, I have also received scholarships to attend the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Bucknell University Seminar for Younger Poets. I was additionally granted a 2007 Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.

I live with my wife and rescue animals in Washington, DC, and I am available for lectures, readings and signings.

Selected Works

Formal verse collection by J.D. Smith
Poems of memory, history, speculation and nature.
A collection that encompasses loss, recovery and wonder.
Picture Book
In The Best Mariachi in the World, the protagonist overcomes his initial frustrations and finds a way to contribute to his family’s musical tradition. The story’s cultural setting, unusual subject matter and playful humorous approach represent a fresh combination of elements.

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