Mark Haskell Smith
|Some or all of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. (January 2012)|
Mark Haskell Smith (born June 14, 1957) is an American writer who lives in Los Angeles. He is best known for his books, the non-fiction Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers and the Race for the Cannabis Cup, published by Broadway Books, as well as five novels: Moist, Delicious, Salty, Baked, and Raw: A Love Story published by Grove Atlantic/Black Cat.
Mark Haskell Smith was born in Lawrence, Kansas and raised in a suburb of Kansas City. Smith attended and received a B.A. from The Evergreen State College in 1979 and an MFA from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 1987. After his undergraduate work, Smith moved to Seattle, WA living in the Belltown neighborhood. He played guitar and "sang" in the art/punk band The Beakers (1979–80)  and 3 Swimmers (1981–83).
Smith began working as a playwright in the 1990s and his first play The Cost of Doing Business was workshopped at Playwright's Horizons and Manhattan Theatre Club before premiering at The Met Theatre in Los Angeles in 1992. The play was met with mixed reviews. The Los Angeles Times said, "the kind of superficial, self-congratulatory puff that gives stage liberalism a bad name." However, Hollywood executives took notice and the play led to a career in screenwriting.
Smith spent the next decade working on films doing uncredited rewrites, most notable on Anaconda and Excess Baggage, both produced by Columbia Pictures. Frustrated by the way his original script Playing God turned out, Smith began writing novels. His first, Moist, was published in 2002 by St. Martin's Press and optioned by Dreamworks Pictures for a film with Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen producing and Barry Sonnenfeld directing. Smith adapted the screenplay and the film is currently in development. Delicious was published in 2005 by the Atlantic Monthly Press, with 2007's Salty, 2010's Baked, and 2013's Raw: A Love Story published by Grove Atlantic/Black Cat.
His first book of non-fiction, The Heart of Dankness, explores the world of underground botanists, outlaw farmers, and renegade strain hunters who pursue excellence and diversity in producing world class cannabis.
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