(Photo by Stephen Humphrey, stephenhumphrey.ca)
Josh Smith believes that there are only two universal truths: "Bang! Bang! You're dead," and, "If you want something: you take it, because nobody is going to hand it to you." This belief has shaped his career since its outset.
From Buffalo, New York, this entertainer stood out even before starting a career, by declaring himself a member of the Straight-Edge culture -- a choice that means lifelong abstinence from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and destructive crutches of all kinds -- which shows great discipline in a city known for its 4am last call.
Josh began writing poetry in 2004, because of professional wrestler Jeff Hardy. An avid wrestling fan, Smith took interest in the poems of the Charismatic Enigma, and was inspired to create his own. Nearly two years of private practice turned public when, on August 1st, 2006, Smith picked up his first reading experience, at Buffalo's long-established EM Tea Coffee Cup Cafe.
In the next several years, Smith brought his vim and vigor to several of the Northeast's most prominent do-it-yourself organizations, including: the Buffalo Infringement Festival, where he became their first Poetry Organizer; as well as ThinkTwiceRadio, an internet radio station whose reach Josh sought to expand, both in listenership and in talent, through his roundtable talk show.
Since entering its second lustrum -- a period of five years -- Smith's career has gained new breadth. Expanding his journeys beyond Western New York, Josh has traveled the continent, learning new skills in each city from Montreal to San Antonio. This evolution led to the first of many "Best of Buffalo" victories for Smith when he captured the 2012 award for Best Poet.
That summer, Smith gained international recognition as his work was not only published in the debut issue of Toronto's Chrysalis Zine, but by the well-revered Ploughshares. In the bottom of 2012, Josh started a two-plus year term on the Board of Directors for Canada's longest-running poetry series, the Art Bar Poetry Series where he served as the team's archivist and historian, as well as a host.
After years of driving at North America's most prominent stages and venerated publications, Smith set his sights on a world-class education. In 2013, Josh punched his ticket to Harvard University where he now studies creative writing through their Department of Continuing Education.
Where the art of writing intersects with the entertainment of performance, you'll find Smith seeking to change the world of professional poetry, forever.