Tracy K. Smith is the nation's newest poet laureate.
By Myra Saturen,
Tracy K. Smith, Northampton Community College's (NCC) poet in residence for 2016 has just been named Poet Laureate of the United States. She read from and discussed her work on March 10, 2016, in Lipkin Theatre.
Born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California, Smith studied with poet Seamus Heaney. She earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a master's degree in fine arts from Columbia University. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University from 1997-1999. In 2012, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 poetry collection Life on Mars.
Her book Ordinary Light: a Memoir, was a National Book Award finalist. She teaches poetry and creative writing at Princeton University. Her poem "Wade in the Water" recently appeared in The New Yorker magazine.
NCC holds the Len Roberts Poetry Day annually. Other renowned poets in residence have included Pulitzer Prize-winners W.D. Snodgrass, Philip Levine and Sharon Olds.