Leonora Smith

January 25, 2002

Leonora Smith
Leonora Smith was born between V-E and V-J day in Great Falls, Montana, and spent the first six months of her life living in a dresser drawer. A baby boomer and proud product of her generation, Smith's formative years took her from the Eisenhower Administration to the summer of love. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Contemporary Michigan Poetry, Alaska Quarterly Review, Exquisite Corpse, and Nimrod. A collection of her poetry, Spatial Relations, was published in 2001. She won the 2002 Gwendolyn Brooks poetry prize (Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature) for “Purple,” written with support from her 2001 IRGP grant. She has been awarded creative writing grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts (fiction); the Virginia Studio Center; the Atlantic Center for the Arts; the Banff Centre for the Arts; and from MSU.
Smith has a dual Ph.D. in English and Curriculum from MSU, with an emphasis on research in the teaching of writing at the college level and above. With stints as a waitress and bartender, she is now an associate professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. She has worked as a free-lance writer for government and industry; as editor of Muses (the alumni magazine of MSU's College of Arts & Letters); and as associate editor for Years Press. She is on the editorial board of Fourth Genre.

"Smith’s versatility to move in and out of fiction and reality, memory and present is impressive, as well as her wit intellect around femininity...[her] use of descriptive, colorful and imaginative language was a shot in the arm to some mundane poetry that seems to have permeated the mainstream" -Una-Kariim, City Pulse

For more information on Leonora Smith, please visit this website: http://www.msu.edu/~wrac/faculty_staff/smith.html

To view Special Collections' holdings of Smith's work, please click here.

To hear Smith read from her own work, please visit the Vincent Voice Library, here.

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Last Updated: March 12, 2010