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William Jay Smith

William Jay Smith, American author. Member Vermont House of Representatives, 1960-1962. Served to lieutenant United States Naval Reserve, 1941-1945. Member American Academy Arts and Letters (vice president for literature 1986-1989), American Association Rhodes Scholars, Academy American Poets, Authors Guild, P.E.N.

Background

  • Smith, William Jay was born on April 22, 1918 in Winnfield, Louisiana, United States. Son of Jay and Georgia (Campster) Smith.

  • Education

    • Student, Institut de Touraine, Tours, France, 1938. Bachelor, Washington University, St. Louis, 1939. Master of Arts, Washington University, St. Louis, 1941.

      Postgraduate, Columbia University, 1947. Postgraduate Rhodes scholar, Oxford University, 1948. Postgraduate, University Florence, Italy, 1950.

      Doctor of Letters, New England College, 1973.

    Career

    • Assistant in French Washington University, 1939-1941. Instructor English and French Columbia University, 1946-1947. Lecturer English Williams College, 1951, poet in residence, lecturer English, 1959-1964, 66-67.

      Ford Foundation fellow Arena Stage, Washington, 1964-1965. Writer in residence Hollins College, 1965-1966, professor English, 1967, 70-80, professor emeritus, 1980. Poet laureate Library.

      Congress, Washington, 1968-1970, honorary consultant in American letters, 1970-1976. Visiting professor, acting chairman, writing division School Arts, Columbia University, 1973, 74-75. Member staff Salzburg (Austria) Seminar, 1975.

      Member jury National Book award, 1962, 70, 75, Neustadt International prize for literature, 1978, Committee of Pegasus Prize for Literature, 1979-1998. Poet in residence Cathedral St. John the Divine, New York, 1985-1988.

    Works

    • How Animals Talk: And Other Pleasant Studies of Birds and Beasts
    • The classic and original text that first explored the telepathic methods of communication of wild animals • Based on years of detailed field observations, first published in 1919 • Written by the famous American naturalist who was the first to study telepathy in the wild • Forewords by biologists Rupert Sheldrake, who has spent 15 years researching the unexplained powers of animals, and Marc Bekoff, the editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior Many sources have commented on the silent communication abilities of pets, but never before and not since the first publication of this book in 1919 has the subject of animal telepathy in the wild been so fully researched.
    • Life on Mars: Poems
    • Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize * A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * * A New Yorker, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * New poetry by the award-winning poet Tracy K.
    • Life on Mars: Poems
    • Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize * A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * * A New Yorker, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year * New poetry by the award-winning poet Tracy K.
    • The Cherokee Lottery: A Sequence of Poems
    • For the first time in poetic form, The Cherokee Lottery treats one of the greatest tragedies in American history, the forced removal of the Southern Indian tribes east of the Mississippi.

    Membership

    Member Vermont House of Representatives, 1960-1962. Served to lieutenant United States Naval Reserve, 1941-1945. Member American Academy Arts and Letters (vice president for literature 1986-1989), American Association Rhodes Scholars, Academy American Poets, Authors Guild, P.E.N. Clubs: Century.

    Connections

    • Married Barbara Howes, October 1, 1947 (divorced June 1965). Children: David Emerson, Gregory Jay. Married Sonja Haussmann, September 3, 1966.
    • father: Jay Smith
    • mother: Georgia (Campster) Smith
    • spouses: Barbara Howes
    • Sonja Haussmann
    • children: David Emerson Smith
    • Gregory Jay Smith
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    Died December 28, 2006
    (aged 88)
    Nationality
    • 1938
      Institut de Touraine
    • 1939
      Washington University
    • 1941
      Washington University
    • 1947
      Columbia University
    • 1948
      Oxford University
    • 1950
      University Florence
    • 1973
      New England College
    • 1939 - 1941
      Assistant, in French Washington University
    • 1946 - 1947
      instructor, English and French Columbia University
    • 1951
      lecturer, English Williams College
    • 1964 - 1965
      Ford Foundation fellow, Arena Stage
      Washington, United States
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