Elspeth Smith was born in Ceylon in 1928 to British parents and spent her childhood on a tea plantation. During the Second World War she was sent to school in Edinburgh and then to St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. She has lived and worked in Huddersfield for over forty years. She died in Scotland in 2021, with her family by her side.
Her pamphlet Wishbone was published by Smith/Doorstop (The Poetry Business). Her debut collection, Dangerous Cakes, came out from Eyewear in 2012, to critical acclaim.
Smith's poems are tiny parcels of benign delightfulness with danger at their centres. A patch of grass, a fresh covering of snow, an old shoe box take a sinister turn if you dare to join the party. – Lorraine Mariner
Spare, mysterious, unforgettable poems. – Alison Brackenbury, Poetry London
Elspeth Smith asks questions, indeed 'raises' them, and answers with spare, clean diction and sharp, clear wit. The result is unforgettable. – Don Share