In The Thick of Thin, Larry Smith writes of a life full of personal challenges, a life full of consistent engagement with the larger world, and a life full of commitment to making it a better place--as a husband, father, writer, editor. Smith has worn a lot of hats, and he's worn them well. His story here has the emotional resonance of all of his writing. Much of his life's work has been focused on making the point that working-class lives like his in communities like his are important to our culture and history, and he makes that point more strongly than ever in telling of his own in this memoir. --Jim Daniels, author of Street Caligraphy
Larry Smith is a native Midwesterner, born and raised in a working-class family in the industrial Ohio River Valley. In 1965 he graduated from Muskingum College in Ohio and at 22 married a hometown girl, Ann Zaben. He worked in the steel mills that summer before moving to Euclid, Ohio where he taught high school and Ann began working as a nurse. He earned degrees at Kent State University (M.A. and Ph.D), and was there when the riots and shootings of students occurred. In 1970-1971 he and Ann and their daughter Laura moved to Huron, Ohio, where he began teaching at Firelands College of Bowling Green State University. Son Brian (1970) and daughter Suzanne (1975) were born in Huron. In 1980 he was a Fulbright lecturer in American Literature in Sicily. He is the author of eight books of poetry, a book of memoirs, six books of fiction, two literary biographies of authors Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Kenneth Patchen, and two books of translations from the Chinese with co-translator Mei Hui Huang. His photo history of his hometown Mingo Junction appeared recently in the Images of America Series. Two of his film scripts on authors James Wright and Kenneth Patchen have been made into films with Tom Koba and shown on PBS.