Merril D. Smith is a writer, editor, independent scholar–and poet. She is the author and editor of several books, including Breaking the Bonds: Marital Discord in Pennsylvania, 1730-1830, Sex Without Consent, the Encyclopedia of Rape, the Encyclopedia of Rape and Sexual Violence (2018) the History of American Cooking, the Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast, and the World of the American Revolution: A Daily Life Encyclopedia. Her most recent book is Sexual Harassment: A Reference Handbook, published in 2020. She is also a freelance test writer for the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Merril D. Smith lives in New Jersey, where she often walks by the Delaware River. 

Her poetry is often inspired by the natural world around her. It has been published by several presses, and she is working on a full-length poetry collection, as well as some smaller collections. In April 2022, Nightingale & Sparrow Press published her first full-length collection, River Ghosts.

You can contact Merril D. Smith by using the comments box or by email at

86 Responses to “Biography”
  1. annisik51 says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I can’t imagine how you came to write your Encyclopaedia and how you survived the process! Ann

    • merrildsmith says:

      You’re welcome–lovely photos on your blog. Encyclopedia projects are always difficult. There is so much to keep track of! I will post more info about my current encyclopedia projects when they get closer to publication.

  2. Louise says:

    I have just read your love letter from Napoleon. How beautiful it was. Sometimes their affair is trivialised by the story about asking her not to wash. I wonder if that is true? I see you are a reader of secrets. Please have a look at my blog. I would welcome a response.

    • merrildsmith says:

      Louise–I am not an expert on Napoleon. My training is in US history, but I liked the letter, and it fit. Your blog is fascinating! How did you end up with the letters and objects?

  3. sknicholls says:

    Your writing topics interest me greatly. I can see me using your books as a reference in my writing 🙂 You have been very busy!

  4. Thanks for your visit to my blog! I wanted to drop by and invite you to join in Project O which is a look into how opinions are formed around the world. If this interests you and if you have a social issue you might want to share with people, please consider joining! The post can be found at the top of my blog under Project O – The Original Project Idea and the template is the post next to it. Thanks again for taking the time to visit my blog! –OM

  5. Enjoyed reading your bio (about) and see we probably have some overlapping interests. Happy to meet you here in our cyber village. Paulette

  6. marianbeaman says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I see we share similar backgrounds and interests.

    • merrildsmith says:

      Thank you for visiting mine, as well. It does sound like we have similar interests. Although our backgrounds are very different, I did go to Kutztown University as an undergrad, and one of our daughters just graduated from Albright College in Reading, so I’m familiar with that part of Pennsylvania.

      • marianbeaman says:

        I take it you know about Mennonites and Amish, then, having going to Kutztown University. Your upcoming publication Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast sounds intriguing. I suppose I’ll have to check here for updates.

  7. merrildsmith says:

    Yes, I’m hardly an expert, but I do know a bit about Mennonites and Amish. I will definitely post info about the book when I know more. I suppose it will be out sometime in the spring.

  8. Merril,
    please e-mail me as your CHOS paperback are out and we have no contact details for you!
    Julie Peakman.

  9. I am really inspired together with your writing abilities and also with the layout for
    your weblog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it is uncommon
    to look a nice blog like this one today..

  10. gpcox says:

    It is a pleasure to meet you.

  11. your blog is very creative and highly enlightening. a pleasure indeed.

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    What an interesting array of topics in your books! … and I look forward to visiting your posts.

  13. herheadache says:

    This looks like a very interesting place. I am interested in social and women’s issues. I look forward to reading more. I try to write about a lot of topics on my own blog. Glad to have found you here.

    • merrildsmith says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your kind comment. I’ve just gone through a period of intense writing/editing two books, Cultural Encyclopedia of the Breast (published this year), and World of the American Revolution: A Daily Life Encyclopedia, which should be out in September, so this blog lately is just for fun and random stuff that I feel like writing about. 🙂

  14. 365dniwobiektywielg says:

    A woman full of ideas

  15. noelleg44 says:

    Nice to meet you, Merril!

  16. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Pleased to meet you Merrild. 🙂

  17. TanGental says:

    Thanks so much for the follow Merril. Your blog looks fascinating.

  18. leggypeggy says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my travel blog. Amazing to see all that is going on with yours.

  19. I have included on a new page on blog called “20 Worthy Blogs”. The inspiration to create this page came from being nominated for two different award (challenges), which of course require me to nominate other bloggers. I am one of those that feels uneasy nominating people in large part because I don’t want them to feel obligated or unpleasant because they have to turn the challenge down. Another reason is many of the people I would like to nominate have blogs in which the challenge would not blend well with the intent and/or content of the blog.

    Any someone whose is listed on this page, you can considered yourself nominated or not nominated depending on your preference.. You could also just use 1 fact about yourself (from The Versatile Blogger or one (or more) of the 11 questions listed (from the Sunshine Blogger Award) as a prompt or inspiration for a post (with no need to link back to this post or mention the award).

  20. I’m having fun poking around your blog. Nice to meet you. 🙂

  21. Daal says:

    am much enjoying your site – so glad I stumbled here 🙂

  22. julespaige says:

    Interestingly enough I lived in NJ for many years and now live in PA.
    Continued success in all your writing.

  23. Koumba Orsi says:

    Afternoon tea, I could spend hours and hours reading your beautiful poetry 🙂

  24. I taught Chinese as a second language after college in Hong Kong. My boss wrote an encyclopedia of Chinese Language. She had an aggressive deadline. By the time the book was published, her eyes were as big as eggs!!! I don’t know if she slept at all.
    Your achievement in the publication is great. I am a retired school administrator. Testing is an intensive moment in a school year…

    • merrildsmith says:

      Thanks so much, Miriam! My husband is a retired high school math teacher, and our younger daughter is an 8th grade English teacher. Testing takes up way too much time in the school year.
      I’ve been working on two reference books on rape this summer. One is going through the copyediting process now; the other manuscript is due at the end of the month. I can understand what your boss was going through! 🙂

  25. duskalert says:

    Pleased to meet you.!
    Found a way here through someone’s blog.It is worth visiting🌹
    I appreciate your work and especially because you do efforts through your books for women and their rights. I loved it .💖👌

  26. duskalert says:

    Oh wowww💖😊😊 best of luck for your book and I know you’ll ace it.!😍😍
    Plz do visit my blog so that I have constructive feedback. THANK you in advance.💞

  27. Violet Lentz says:

    I am here via tanka tuesday to congratulate you and let you know how heartfelt your poem sojourner was. It touched my heart that you so heard her voice so plainly and painted her pain and triumph so beautifully. thank you.

  28. Hi, Merril, it’s Sarah here from I’m looking for favours! Small ones, I hope.

    I live in a small town in Devon, UK. Over the last few years the town has raised money to renovate our town hall and make it into a community asset. A friend of mine, Anne Tattersall, is now managing it and continuing fundraising. Anne is organising a “Festival of Women’s Voices” as a fundraiser for next International Women’s Day. Somehow I’ve volunteered to help, by looking for donations of poems from my women poet contacts around the world. Ideally, Anne would like to be able to link to women reading their work, but I’m not sure about the logistics of that. Failing that, we’d like to do a display, and maybe use some words on tea-towels. If you feel you could donate a poem that would be wonderful.

    • merrildsmith says:

      Hi, Sarah! Thank you so much for thinking of me. I’d be honored to donate a poem. Could you give me more details? When? What type of poem? Format and who to send it to, etc. You can send me an e-mail, if that’s easier.

  29. Baydreamer says:

    Hi Merrill,

    It’s great to meet you through Jill and I look forward to reading your work. I wish you all the best on your current book, too, in which I’m sure the topic must be difficult to delve into.

    Best wishes,

    • merrildsmith says:

      Hi Lauren. Thank you very much. I guess I need to update my biography here. Do you mean the book on sexual harassment? It came out recently. I have a post about it on my blog.

      • Baydreamer says:

        The one on rape? Same one? I didn’t look at the date, I apologize. 🙂

      • merrildsmith says:

        No need to apologize. My reference book on sexual harassment just came out, and the year before, I wrote/edited two books on rape–a long form encyclopedia and a book of essays–and a few years before that I wrote/edited another encyclopedia of rape. Yes, all hard to deal with while working on them!

  30. Tom Chapman says:

    Looking forward to reading one of your books!

  31. whimsygizmo says:

    Hi, Merril. I’m trying something Lill suggested for commenting. For some reason, the popup box is below, here, but not on your weekly poem. I’ll see if this goes through…

    I LOVE anytime “here there be dragons” in a poem! This one was wonderful!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] month, my blogging sister and good friend, Merril Smith, tagged me for the Three Quotes in Three Days challenge.  (By the way, I love being tagged for […]

  2. […] week, I’ve chosen Merril Smith, from her blog, Yesterday & Today, Merril’s Historical Musings, and her poem entitled […]

  3. […] week, I’ve chosen Merril D. Smith, and her double Etheree called, “Sojourner.” This poem is the embodiment of assuming a […]

  4. […] genre when I was studying literature a few centuries ago. Now, however, thanks to poets like Merril D. Smith, Luanne Castle and Jane Dougherty, I often feel I can’t get enough of it. So when N&S put […]

  5. […] your wit. John, you are a writing machine. Marc, you may be the best writer I’ve encountered. Merril, you are kind, smart, insightful, and […]

  6. […] the fourth week of the month! Are you ready for a theme prompt? Merril D. Smith from last month’s challenge selected the theme […]

  7. […] a memorable message thanks to this week’s theme of ‘Immortality’ chosen by Merril D. Smith and gave it my all. Hope it […]

  8. […] :- Thanks to Colleen. M. Chesebro for hosting this challenge and Merril. D. Smith for a wonderful prompt theme, “immortality”. For rules please refer here. Thank you all […]

  9. […] week in Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday Challenge 217 – theme prompt – Merril D. Smith from last month’s challenge selected the theme of…Immortality…I have written three […]

  10. […] my husband good morning, is grab a cup of coffee. Then, I go to Facebook to see what lovely photo Merril D. Smith has shared for the […]

  11. […] Merril D. Smith selected the image this week. It’s a lithograph and you can read more about it HERE. Remember, we can see what’s in the image, so write your poem using the image as an inspiration. Don’t just describe what you see in the lithograph. Think about metaphor and allegory. Just remember to check what form you’re using. Some of the Japanese forms frown upon the use of metaphors. This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing, inspired by visual art. […]

  12. […] Merril D. Smith selected the image this week. It’s a lithograph and you can read more about it HERE. Remember, we can see what’s in the image, so write your poem using the image as an inspiration. Don’t just describe what you see in the lithograph. Think about metaphor and allegory. Just remember to check what form you’re using. Some of the Japanese forms frown upon the use of metaphors. This challenge explores Ekphrasticwriting, inspired by visual art. […]

  13. […] Merril D. Smith selected a Lithograph for this week’s Ekphrastic challenge. The history behind the image is interesting. It’s called, “Visitor to German Town.” Created in 1935, the image conjures the past and the present. […]

  14. […] Merril D. Smith selected the image this week. It’s a lithograph and you can read more about it HERE. Remember, we can see what’s in the image, so write your poem using the image as an inspiration. Don’t just describe what you see in the lithograph. Think about metaphor and allegory. Just remember to check what form you’re using. Some of the Japanese forms frown upon the use of metaphors. This challenge explores Ekphrastic writing, inspired by visual art. […]

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