Louisville poet, author and Bellarmine professor Frederick Smock is Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2017-18. He was inducted during a ceremony on Kentucky Writers’ Day, May 1, at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort.
He said that he wants to make poetry relevant to all Kentuckians during his two-year tenure. “In my teaching, I like to bring poetry to everyone,” he said. “I imagine that will color some of what I do as poet laureate.”
Smock, a Louisville native, has written 10 books of poems and essays, with two more on the way, four chapbooks and has earned several awards for his writing and teaching, including the 2002 Henry Leadingham Poetry Prize, the 2003 Jim Wayne Miller Prize for Poetry, Bellarmine University’s 2005 Wilson Wyatt Faculty Award and the 2008 Kentucky Literary Award for Poetry. The Kentucky Arts Council, which selects the state poet laureate, honored him in 1995 with an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry.