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Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the U.S. at the JCC San Francisco


With Marvin K. White

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. She appears in conversation with Marvin K. White, Minister of Celebration at GLIDE.

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

For more information and for tickets visit:

Earlier Event: January 12
Wellspring Writers
Later Event: February 1
Poetry Book of the Month February 2019