Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Smith receives Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

Eric Smith, an assistant professor of English in Marshall University’s College of Liberal Arts, has been awarded the 16th annual Tampa Review Prize for his collection of poems, Black Hole Factory. He receives a $2,000 prize, as well as hardback and paperback book publication in 2018 by the University of Tampa Press.

Judges praised his manuscript for exploring a broad range of traditional poetic forms while building an innovative, personal voice:

“Eric Smith writes with a commitment to the history and craftsmanship of the well-shaped poem, but his use of tradition, rhyme, and meter become sources of surprise and innovation
in his hands. The book has poems that communicate impressive control, intellect, and wit— poems that cultivate ironic self-awareness and detachment on the part of both poet and reader. And then there are breakthrough moments giving up both irony and control. In the end, he has shaped a profound and accomplished manuscript of deep personal engagement graced by moving, open flights of lyricism.”

Black Hole Factory will be Smith’s first book. His poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Southwest Review, The New Criterion, and the Best New Poets anthology. He also has written critical prose for Pleiades, The Rumpus, and the AWP Writers’ Chronicle. He was a founding editor of cellpoems, and has received scholarships and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Convivio, a conference for artists in Italy.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of West Georgia, a master’s degree from Northern Michigan University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Florida. He has been with Marshall since 2010.