I have learned, with great sadness, of the death of Raymond J. Smith, who was for more than 30 years editor of Ontario Review, as well as Ontario Review Press; and for more than 45 years beloved husband of Joyce Carol Oates. JCO wrote frequently and lovingly of Ray in her recently published Journal.
Ray’s thoughts, both practical and philosophical, on publishing a literary magazine can be found in “On Editing The Ontario Review.”
In her article “Nighthawk: A Memoir of Lost Time,” JCO recounts her life as a graduate student during the time when she met and married Ray. Mostly about her difficulties with insomnia and the academic culture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the article by the end reveals its glowing secret heart to be Ray.
JCO took Ray’s name as the basis of one of her pen names, Rosamond Smith, under which she wrote mystery-thrillers all dealing with twins, doubles, soul-mates.
Chicago Tribune cultural critic Julia Keller on Raymond Smith: “he worked behind the scenes on the magazine, and as Oates’ protector and shield, her sounding board and soul mate. ”
Obituary: New York Times