June 21, 2009

Poet FrancEyE dead at age 87

Frances Dean Smith, who released poetry under the name FrancEyE, has died at the age of 87 in Greenbrae, Calif., her daughter, Marina Bukowski Zavala, says.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday Smith's works of poetry were published in poetry journals, as well as in collections such 2004's Amber Spider and 1996's Snaggletooth in Ocean Park.

Smith also had a romantic relationship with Charles Bukowski, a fellow poet who inspired her and with whom she had one of her four daughters.

Smith, who had divorced Wray Smith before meeting Bukowski in the 1960s, also earned the nickname Bearded Witch of Ocean Park during her latter years in Santa Monica, Calif., for the white hairs she allowed to grow from her chin.

I think she did that because it was sort of a feminist thing, Smith's friend S.A. Griffin, said of the poet's decision to not trim the hairs. It was just her. It's what her body was doing, and she just let it do it.

The Times said Smith, who died June 2 of complications from a broken hip, is survived by her daughters, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.