Tracy K. Smith is New U.S. Poet Laureate

“Sometimes, what I see is a library in a rural community. All the tall shelves in the big open room,” said award-winning poet Tracy K. Smith in her poem, “My God, It’s Full of Stars.” Little did she know that she would soon have access to libraries, books, and poetry beyond her imagination.

Tracy K. Smith was named the United States Poet Laureate this week by the Library of Congress. The 45-year-old is the 22nd person to receive this honor, the highest honor in the poetry field.

Prior to becoming the newest poet laureate, Smith won a Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 poetry collection titled, “Life on Mars.” She also won the James Laughlin Award for her other poetry collection “Duende.”

The mother of three also serves as an educator, previously teaching at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University and now at Princeton University as the director of creative writing.

  • Contributed by Briana Wright

WHUR Contributor

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