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Poet, translator, children's author, critic and memoirist William Jay Smith is of European and Choctaw Indian ancestry. He served as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1968 to1970 and has been a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters since 1975. He is the editor of several highly acclaimed collections of verse, including his 1955 children's classic, "Laughing Time," which has never been out of print and can be found in many textbooks and anthologies. His recent collections include "The World Below the Window: Poems 1937-1997" (1998. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) and "The Cherokee Lottery" (Curbstone Press, 2000). He is professor emeritus of English at Hollins College and makes his home in Cummington, Mass., and Paris.