George Smith: Poet Interview

Publish date:

2014 April PAD Challenge countdown: 7. Speaking of the April PAD Challenge, there's some great news on the way. I'm still getting everything finalized, but we're going to make the challenge fun times infinity. Speaking of fun, click here to check out an analysis of my "cold water" poem by the Retail MFAer. Fun stuff!

George Smith

George Smith

George Smith was born in the small southeastern New York town of Queens, and quickly whisked below the Mason-Dixon. He's the son of a Southern Methodist Naval and airline aviator father from Montgomery and an Irish Catholic mother from Philadelphia... So, naturally, he was raised Presbyterian in Miami... He eventually moved to NW Georgia with his brother and sister when he was a teenager, and has lived there since. George is a husband and the father of four boys. His wife and youngest son live in a ca.1838 farmhouse in formerly rural south Fulton County, Georgia, a short drive southwest of Atlanta. He considers himself a poet and country/bluegrass/blues songwriter/lyricist with a day-job in health care design and construction.

George has been writing since his mid-teens, starting with poety, and moving into songwriting along the way. He's cowritten with musical artists from Nashville to Norfolk to Nacogdoches and recently been priviledged to have two songs placed on the CW TV show, Hart of Dixie... Hear some demo recordings on ReverbNation at: or on SoundClick at:

Here is his Top 25 poem:

Oakland Dawn, by George Smith

Blue on blue;
Obelisk in silhouette,
Cardinals dart and pirouette.
Angels trapped in shadowed stone,
Guard and plead in tone on tone.

No stars.
No moon.
The sun hints it is coming soon.
The faintest glow above the wall,
Below the trees.
Birdsongs call,

There is no breeze.
Blue fades into blue,
Blue fades into blue.
Blue fades...


Where are you located?

I live in Fairburn, Georgia, just southwest of Atlanta, with my wife and youngest son (and three dogs/two cats), in a small farmhouse that's been in my wife's family since it was built in the 1830's...

Who are your favorite poets?

In no particular order: Poets: Richard Brautigan, Robert Frost, Robert W. Service, Ogden Nash, and Dr. Seuss. And songwriters with a poetic voice, Guy Clark, Verlon Thompson, Paul Simon, and Robert Hunter.

As a reader, what do you like most in poems?

I like a feeling of "naturalness" - a flow and structure that doesn't seem forced or pretentious (unless that's the theme), that paints a picture or tells a story (or both), where every word counts and reinforces the next word
Perhaps this comes from songwriting...

What were your goals for the 2013 April PAD Challenge?

Beyond writing something for each day by the end of each day...I've used each April's challenge as a potential first spark for songwriting - sometimes to better effect than others - but also as a way to explore other forms and formats of poetic expression - often using a form posted on the Poetic Asides blog.

Additionally, I forward to friends and other poets (and songwriters) I know, including the blog's e-dress and web-link, to reinforce April being National Poetry Month.

What's next for you?

I want to keep writing and honing what I do...every day... just like it's April...


Workshop your poetry!

Learn more.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World's Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Find more poetic posts here:


The “Secret Sauce” Necessary to Succeed at a 30-Day Writing Challenge

In this article, author and writing coach Nina Amir lays out her top tips to master your mindset and complete a 30-day writing challenge.


Crashing Into New Worlds: Writing About the Unfamiliar

Award-winning crime author Stephanie Kane explains how she builds characters unlike herself and navigates their worlds to create vivid and realistic stories.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Without a Trace

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave without a trace.


Vintage WD: The Truth about True Crime

In this article from July 2000, true crime novelist and former New York Times correspondent Lisa Beth Pulitzer shares with us some key insights for breaking into the true crime genre.


New Agent Alert: Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Evoking Emotion in Fiction: Seven Pragmatic Ways to Make Readers Give a Damn

Evoking emotion on the page begins with the man or woman at the keyboard. Dustin Grinnell serves up seven straightforward tactics for writing tear-jerking stories that make your readers empathize with your characters.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 546

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a spooky poem.


Learn Better World-Building Strategies Through World of Warcraft and the New Shadowlands Expansion

WD editor and fantasy writer Moriah Richard shares five unique ways in which writers can use World of Warcraft to better build their worlds—without playing the game.