Smith, William Jay
- Existence: 22 April 1918 - 18 August 2015
The poet William Jay Smith was born on April 22, 1918, in Winnfield, Louisiana, and grew up in Missouri. He got his A.B. and M.A. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Smith married poet Barbara Howes in 1947 and moved to Europe. The couple divorced in the mid-1960s, and Smith later married Sonja Haussmann. Back in the States, Smith taught at Williams College, Columbia University, and Hollins University. Smith’s poetry has been admired for its adherence to traditional poetic styles; his work was often published in The Sewanee Review and The Southern Review. Two of his poetry collections were finalists for the National Book Award. Smith died in 2015, and his papers are housed at Washington University at St. Louis.