Our BSPG author, Robert M Smith, has died. See the note from his family below. Robert was a very funny, sweet and kind person. He sent me emails every few days, signed Smitty. He prayed for me when I was ill at Christmas 2021. He wrote a lot of clever, witty and powerful stories over the decades, and was Montreal’s undeclared patron saint of the streets – he wrote about homeless guys, people with mental health challenges, the down and out, the marginalised. His eye was compassionate, fair and lucid. His prose was solid, and his perceptions startling. He was a very good writer, and should really have a wider fan base and a higher reputation. I believe that will come in time. Still, he was known worldwide in the indie scenes, as he submitted to a lot of places over the years.
I knew him from the age of about 17 – about 40 years – because he was part of the small press scene in Montreal and then Ottawa. He was fluently bilingual, and had a lot to say about Canada, Quebec, and the counterculture. I am deeply sad he has died. He was a truly unique and important Canadian writer, a true outsider voice with an original and noteworthy vision. He always had something worth reading. Condolences to his family and friends. - Todd Swift, Publisher
Robert M. Smith passed away on February 4th, 2023, following a brief illness, with his family by his side at the age of 74.
He will be greatly missed by his partner Bonnie and his daughter Isabelle McLean-Smith (Shayne Griffin). He is survived by his sister Claire Smith, and his cousins Jean Beaudet and Carol Powell. Also grieving are Malcolm McLean (Julie Nadler) and Emily McLean, as well as numerous friends.
Robert was predeceased by his parents, Markland and Isabelle; and daughter, Cordelia.
Friends may pay respects at the Collins Clarke MacGillivray White Funeral Home - 5610 Sherbrooke St West, Montreal, QC H4A 1W5, 514-483-1870 on Sunday, February 19th from 11am-1pm.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at the Gatineau hospital for their care and patience.