Frederick Smock died on July 17, according to a statement released by Bellarmine University. He was 68 years old.
Smock served as Kentucky’s Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2018. Through this role, Smock aimed to “reintroduce the joy of poetry” to people.
Smock worked at Bellarmine University as an English teacher and director of creative writing.
He has written several collections of poetry, including “Gardencourt”, “The Blue Hour” and “The Bounteous World”. Additionally, he wrote prose which included published books “Poetry & Compassion: Essays on Art & Craft” and “Craft-talk: On Writing Poetry”.
Smock grew up in the Fern Creek neighborhood of Louisville. His childhood experiences influenced his work as a writer and poet.
In a 2017 interview with WFPL NewsSmock shared how walking down his driveway as a kid helped him become a more observant person.
“We always searched, walking, for fossils – and found them often,” Smock said. “So I think it got into a habit very early on of noticing things, being awake and alert, keeping your eyes open, and it was the same every time we walked through freshly plowed fields. You keep eyes lowered, in order to find arrowheads and such.
According to Bellarmine’s statement, in accordance with Smock’s wishes, there will be no scheduled service. The university plans to hold a memorial ceremony in the fall when students return to campus.
This story has been updated with additional information.