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“The surfaces of a Tracy K. Smith poem are beautiful and serene, but underneath, there is always a sense of an unknown vastness. Her poems take the risk of inviting us to imagine, as the poet does, what it is to travel in another person’s shoes.” —Toi Derricotte, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets
December 1, 2017 (Haiku, HI) – On Friday, February 9th, 2018, The Merwin Conservancy will present an intimate evening with current U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith in The Green Room, an environmental and literary salon series on Maui that is hosted by the Conservancy and fosters a reverence for language, nature, and imagination. About Smith’s writing, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “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. With directness and deftness, she contends with the heavens or plumbs our inner depths—all to better understand what makes us most human.”
The evening will begin at 7:00pm with a special introduction by Hawaii’s Poet Laureate, Kealoha, in the McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, with doors opening at 6:30pm. Tickets are $25 per person, with a $10 student rate available with valid student I.D.
Tracy K. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015) and three books of poetry. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Duende won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. In 2014 the Academy of American Poets awarded Smith with the Academy Fellowship, awarded to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. Her next collection of poems, Wade in the Water, is forthcoming in 2018.
In 2017, Smith was appointed the 22nd United States Poet Laureate. Her other awards and honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, a 2004 Rona Jaffe Writers Award, a 2008 Essence Literary Award, a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, a fellowship from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2005 Whiting Award. She is the director of Princeton University’s creative writing program and lives in New Jersey.
Smith will make her February 9th appearance in The Green Room with a reading of her poetry, followed by an intimate Q&A with the audience, and book signing at a courtyard reception with refreshments, book fair, and live musical entertainment.
This event is made possible by the generous support of FIM Group.