Bruce Smith was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He went to Bucknell University where he stayed to earn a MA in English and work at The Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg. He has taught at Tufts, Boston, and Harvard Universities, and on the West Coast at Portland State and Lewis & Clark College, and at University of Alabama before coming to Syracuse in 2002. He is the author of six books of poems, The Common Wages (Sheep Meadow, 1983), Silver and Information (National Poetry Series, selected by Hayden Carruth), Mercy Seat (University of Chicago, 1994), The Other Lover (University of Chicago, 1999), which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Songs for Two Voices (University of Chicago, 2005), and Devotions (University od Chicago, 2011). Devotions has been named a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and won the William Carlos Williams Award from the American Academy of Poets. Poems of his have appeared in The Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Partisan Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Times Literary Supplement [London] and were included in the Best of the Small Presses anthology for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. Essays and reviews of his have appeared in Harvard Review, Boston Review, and Newsday. He has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center and was a winner of the Discovery/The Nation prize. In 2000 he was a Guggenheim fellow and has twice been a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts. In 2010 he received an award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Recently he’s been a visiting professor at University of Houston and Columbia University. In 2016 he was a resident at the American Academy in Rome.