Tracy K. Smith, ALA President's Program Speaker at 2018 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/24/2018


Donna Hunter

Marketing Coordinator

ALA / Conference Services

Author and poet Tracy K. Smith is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light, and four 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, and The Body’s Question was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. The has noted that Smith's fourth, and just released collection of poems, Wade in the Water is sure to be on everyone's awards and best-of lists. This session will take place on Sunday, June 24, 2018, 3:00pm - 5:30pm at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, LA.

Smith earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. In June of 2017, Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden reappointed Smith the 22nd United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. “I am thrilled that Tracy K. Smith has accepted my invitation to continue sharing her poetry with the nation,” Hayden said. “Her exchanges with Americans in small towns and rural communities are inspiring an appreciation of poetry and history – and remind us that poetry has value for all of our lives.”

Poetry invites us to listen to other voices, to make space for other perspectives, and to care about the lives of others who may not look, sound or think like ourselves,” Smith said upon learning of her reappointment from the Librarian of Congress. “My project as Poet Laureate has brought me into contact with rural communities in the South and Southwest, and not only do we recognize and have many things to say to each other, but talking about poems together allows us to access and share our feelings and bear witness to the experiences that shape our lives.”

Smith is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. She was also recently named to succeed current chair Michael Cadden as the new chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, effective July 2019.

Her appearance is sponsored by Graywolf Press.

Smith will join Jose Antonio Vargas in this session.


Early Advance registration rates end on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 12:00 Noon (Central). If you need help in making your case to attend, these resources can help.

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