Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith to give free reading at Emory on Feb. 17

Tracy K. Smith, the current U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, will give a reading of her poems on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. at

Tracy K. Smith. Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths.

Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

The event is open to the public at no charge. Tickets are not required, but seating will be limited. Books and a limited-edition broadside will be for sale at the reading, with a signing immediately after. Click here to add this event to your calendar and receive event updates.

Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, “Ordinary Light,” and three books of poetry. She won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection “Life on Mars,” which was also selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection is partly a tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. “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’s honors include an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award and a Whiting Award. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and the director of the creative writing program at Princeton University. Her next collection of poems, “Wade in the Water,” is forthcoming in 2018.

The reading is part of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series, now in its 13th season. Smith is the seventh U.S. poet laureate to be featured in the series.

“We are honored to have Tracy K. Smith return to Emory as her work has so many connections to our mission and collections,” says Rosemary M. Magee, director of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. “She continues a very fine tradition of U.S. poet laureates sharing their dedication to the creative process with the entire campus—and beyond.”

Smith took part in “A Tribute to Seamus Heaney: An Evening of Poetry and Song” at Emory in October 2014, along with fellow poets Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, Belinda McKeon, and William Corbett. She also visited Emory in March 2014 to deliver the Feminist Founders reading and participate in a colloquium, then a conversation with former U.S. Poet Laureate and Emory professor Natasha Trethewey.

Her upcoming reading is sponsored by Emory Library and Information Technology Services (LITS), the Rose Library, the Hightower Fund, and the Creative Writing Program at Emory.

The Schwartz Center is located on the Emory campus at 1700 N. Decatur Rd. in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck. For disability-related accommodations, please contact Emory Libraries events manager Maya Cody in advance at 404-727-7620 or maya [dot] cody [at] emory [dot] edu.

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