The On Being Project

Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith

was born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California. She earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she held a Stegner fellowship at Stanford University. Smith is the author of three books of poetry: The Body's Question (2003), which won the Cave Canem prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essense Literary Award; Life on Mars (2011), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Wade in the Water (forthcoming, April 2018). In 2014 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets fellowship. She has also written a memoir, Ordinary Light (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction.

In June 2017, Smith was named U.S. poet laureate. She teaches creative writing at Princeton University.

“The Universe as Primal Scream”

New Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith mingles the banality of cramped living with questions of the cosmic divine.

Read More >
“The Universe as Primal Scream”

“The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Our world is filled with the sounds of human progress. 2017 Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s poem invites us to awaken to the silence around us.

Read More >
“The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”