Alumni Programs

Mark Haskell Smith

Photo of Mark Haskell SmithEducation

B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1979
M.F.A., American Film Institute, 1987

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Mark Haskell Smith

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Biographical Note

Mark Haskell Smith is the author of four novels: Moist (Grove Press), Delicious (Atlantic Monthly Press), Salty (Grove/Atlantic Black Cat) which was a Book Sense Notable Book in 2007, and Baked (Grove/Atlantic Black Cat).

His novels have been published in the UK (Atlantic Books), France (Editions Rivages Noir), Italy (Bompiani), Norway (Font Forlag), and Russia (AST).

Haskell Smith recently published the non-fiction book Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers and the Race to the Cannabis Cup for Broadway Books in the U.S. and McClelland & Stewart in Canada.

He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of California Riverside Palm Desert MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts program.

Heart of DanknessPublication Types

Fiction, Non-Fiction

Latest Publication Title

Heart of Dankness - Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers and the Race for the Cannabis Cup, Broadway Books, 2012

Additional Publications

Baked, Grove/Atlantic Black Cat, 2010
Moist, Grove, 2007
Salty, Grove, 2007
Delicious, Grove, 2006

Publication Excerpt

From Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers and the Race to the Cannabis Cup:  Reporting for the Los Angeles Times on the international blind tasting competition held annually in Amsterdam known as the Cannabis Cup, novelist Mark Haskell Smith sampled a variety of marijuana that was unlike anything he’d experienced.  It wasn’t anything like typical stoner weed, in fact it didn’t get you stoned.  This cannabis possessed an ephemeral quality known to aficionados as “dankness.”

Armed with a State of California Medical Marijuana recommendation, he begins a journey into the international underground where super-high-grade marijuana is developed and tracks down the rag-tag community of underground botanists, outlaw farmers, and renegade strain hunters who pursue excellence and diversity in marijuana, defying the law to find new flavors, tastes, and effects.  This unrelenting pursuit of dankness climaxes at the Cannabis Cup, which Haskell Smith vividly portrays as the Super Bowl/Mardi Gras of the world’s largest cash crop.

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

Evergreen got me in to the habit of being curious about the world around me. That has really come in handy.