R. T. Smith was educated at Georgia Tech, University of North Carolina, Charlotte and Appalachian State University. He taught at Auburn University for nineteen years where he also served as Alumni-Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English.

Since 1995 he has edited SHENANDOAH:

THE WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY REVIEW and also teaches American Literature at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA.
Mr. Smith's collections of poetry include Trespasser (LSU), Messenger (LSU), Brightwood (LSU) and The Hollow Log Lounge (Illinois). His collection of stories is Faith (Black Belt), and he has edited an anthology Common Wealth (UVA) with his wife Sarah Kennedy. His individual poems and stories have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Southern Review, Poetry, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Missouri Review and Best American Short Stories, and he has received fellowships from the NEA, the Alabama State Arts Council, Arts International and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. His other honors include the Library of Virginia Book of the Year Award, the Emily Dickinson Prize and the Richard Hugo Poetry Prize. Smith is a cancer survivor and lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia.