Mike Smetzer grew up in the clay hills of the Valparaiso Moraine in Porter County, Indiana, just south of Lake Michigan. He attended elementary school and high school at Boone Grove. After high school, he earned a BA at Purdue University, an MA at Valparaiso University, and an MFA at Bowling Green State University. He lived for over a decade in Lawrence, Kansas, and he has spent most of the last twenty-five years in central and southern Maine.
In the 1970's Mike served as the editor-in-chief of Cottonwood Review and in the 1980's as the editor of the literary magazine Naked Man. He has two chapbooks: A Quiet Man (poetry) and Teaching the Clergy to Dance: Short Stories and Satire. He has three titles expected on Kindle for 2017-18: The One Who Saw God (a short story), Blonde with Fingers (an illustrated set of rhymed poems), and Report to the Air, a selected book of his poetry.
As an instructor, Mike has taught at a dozen campuses. His teaching includes undergraduate creative writing classes at Bowling Green State University, The University of Kansas, Washburn University, and The University of Maine. He has also taught literature, composition, technical writing, and journalism.
Mike's nonacademic work has included jobs at Republic Steel as a lathe operator, at U.S. Steel as an oiler, at Bethlehem Steel as a power station handyman, at an Indiana General ceramic magnets factory as a production worker, at a Best Western motel as a night clerk, self employment as a used book dealer, and at a supermarket as a maintenance associate.
Mike now lives near Portland, Maine, with his wife (writer and artist) Vera Lisa Smetzer. He continues to write and to pursue his interest in bead-work jewelry and illustration.
Some of his beadwork and writing appear on his personal journal: Life Small as a Sparrow http://mikesmetzer.wordpress.com/ and on his website: Fire Above the Land https://michaelsmetzer.wordpress.com/