Thomas R. Smith has had hundreds of poems published on three continents.  In the United States, his poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.  His poems were included in Editor's Choice II (The Spirit That Moves Us Press), a selection of the best of the American small press, and in The Best American Poetry 1999 (Scribner).  His work has reached wide national audiences on Garrison Keillor's public radio show Writer's Almanac and former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser's syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry

     He is author of ten books of poems, Keeping the Star (New Rivers Press, 1988), Horse of Earth (Holy Cow! Press, 1994), The Dark Indigo Current (Holy Cow! Press, 2000), Winter Hours (Red Dragonfly Press, 2005), Waking Before Dawn (Red Dragonfly Press, 2007), The Foot of the Rainbow (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010), The Glory (Red Dragonfly Press, 2015), Windy Day at Kabekona: New and Selected Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2018), Storm Island (Red Dragonfly Press, 2020) and Medicine Year (Paris Morning Publications, 2022).  A chapbook of nature poems, Kinnickinnic, appeared in 2008 from Parallel Press.  He has edited Walking Swiftly:  Writings and Images on the Occasion of Robert Bly's 65th Birthday (Ally Press, 1992; HarperCollins, 1993) and What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread (Nineties Press, 1993), a selection of the best of the Canadian poet Alden Nowlan, now in its second edition.  His first prose book, Poetry on the Side of Nature: Writing the Nature Poem as an Act of Survival, was published in 2022 by Red Dragonfly Press.
     His poetry criticism has appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Great River Review, Ruminator Review, and other periodicals.  He is a Loft Foreword Program poetry instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.  He and his wife, the artist Krista Spieler, live in River Falls, Wisconsin.

     Robert Bly writes:  "Thomas R. Smith is a high-spirited poetry horse riding over the hills of emotion."


    In the 1970s and 1980s, Thomas R. Smith taught poetry in rural communities of western Wisconsin through the CETA-funded organization, Artspeople of Wisconsin, for which he also served as director.

     Since 2000 he has taught highly-regarded poetry classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, most recently as an advisor to the Loft Foreword Program.

     In the fall of 2008, he gave his first poetry workshops in England, as well as lecturing at the Temenos Academy in London.  He delivered a talk at the University of Minnesota's symposium on Robert Bly's work in April, 2009.

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