Saturday, June 17, 2017

Princeton professor named country's next poet laureate

Tracy K. Smith has a long list of accomplishments, from publishing three books of poetry to winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2012, and she just added one more prestigious achievement.

The Library of Congress named Smith its 2017-18 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, an honor she shares with only 21 others.

"I am profoundly honored," sad Smith, a creative writing professor at Princeton University. "As someone who has been sustained by poems and poets, I understand the powerful and necessary role poetry can play in sustaining a rich inner life and fostering a mindful, empathic and resourceful culture."

"I am eager to share the good news of poetry with readers and future readers across this marvelously diverse country," she said.

Smith is the author of the poetry books "Life on Mars"; "Duende"; and "The Body's Question"; all of which have won awards. Her memoir, "Ordinary Light", was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction and recognized as a notable book by The New York Times and the Washington Post.

Smith was appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on Wednesday, and is succeeding Juan Felipe Herrera.

Hayden called Smith a "poet of searching," and said she has a way with her poems.

"Her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture," Hayden said.


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