Kevin Smith lives in Maleny, Queensland. He has worked as a teacher, writer, actor, director and workshop facilitator in theatres, high schools and tertiary institutions. His debut collection of poetry, Awake to the Rest of My Days, was published by Birdfish Books in 2021. The manuscript was developed via a mentorship with Mark Tredinnick, administered by Australian Writers’ Mentors. A third collection, On Station Creek (The Cancer Poems), will be published by Birdfish Books late in 2023.
Kevin’s poems have been published in anthologies in Australia and overseas. His debut manuscript, Awake to the Rest of My Days, was published by Birdfish Books in 2021. His poems have featured in major competitions in Australia including The Newcastle, The ACU, The Bruce Dawe and The Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize. His poems have featured in competitions abroad as well—The Bridport, The Fish Poetry Prize, The Robert Graves Poetry Prize, The Welsh International Poetry Prize and The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize. ‘Night Heron Under a Crescent Moon’ was shortlisted in the 2021 Fish Poetry Prize, County Cork, Ireland. The judge—former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins—selected the poem among the best twelve from 2 987 entries. In 2022, he shortlisted in three major poetry prizes: The ACU (placed 2nd), The Newcastle and The Bridport.
Restraint, and the skill to tilt the reader off balance are powerful tools in Smith’s hands…but what resonates most is the unblinking nature of his gaze. It gives the poetry a potent energy, an unmistakable stamp of truth.
These are grown-up poems, and it is his wide reading and lyric ear and dedication to the craft that have in large part grown Kevin up so well he was ready to make these poems. These poems are tender, and they are uncompromising. Literature forgives us for being human, I have often thought, and these poems bear that out.