Bruce Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the author of six books of poems, The Common Wages (Sheep Meadow Press, 1983); Silver and Information (University of Georgia Press, 1985), a National Poetry Series selection by Hayden Carruth; Mercy Seat (University of Chicago Press, 1994); The Other Lover (University of Chicago Press, 2000), which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; Songs for Two Voices (University Of Chicago Press, 2005); and Devotions (University of Chicago Press, 2011). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, The Partisan Review, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and many others. 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 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.