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Wednesday, January 30 • 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the United States

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co-presented with the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Join us for a conversation with Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate of the United States. In that role, she has traveled the country on a quest to bring poetry to people living in rural America. Smith authored the critically-acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light and three books of poetry including her most recent, Wade in the Water. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as the New York Times Notable Book. Duende received the 2006 James Laughlin Award and The Body’s Question won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith has also been a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award and a Whiting Award, and received a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, awarded to one poet annually for distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

Even the men in black armor, the ones
Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else

Are they so buffered against, if not love’s blade
Sizing up the heart’s familiar meat?

We watch and grieve. We sleep, stir, eat.
Love: the heart sliced open, gutted, clean.

Love: naked almost in the everlasting street,
Skirt lifted by a different kind of breeze.

– from “Unrest in Baton Rouge,” Wade in the Water

avatar for Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith is an American poet and educator. She is currently serving as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States, an office she assumed in 2017. She has published four collections of poetry, winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 volume Life on Mars.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 7:00pm - 8:30pm PST
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Kanbar Hall 3200 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118