Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner, named new U.S. poet laureate

New York Tracy K Smith who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 has been named the new US poet laureate a poem asks you to let go many of your assumptions move away from your own certainties and to listen explain Smith 45 whose appointment to a one-year term was announced Wednesday by the Library of Congress Bob Dylan finally collects his Nobel Prize for Literature Smith who succeeds Juan Felipe Herrera won the Pulitzer for her poetry collection life on Mars and was a National Book Award finalist for nonfiction three years later for her memoir ordinary life she has been praised for her command of language and emotions for a vision that encompasses everything from space exploration to the death of her father and her gift for both social commentary and personal reflection Smith shows herself to be a poet of extraordinary range and ambition poet Joel Brower reviewing life on Mars wrote in the New York Times in 2011 as all the best poetry does life on Mars first sends us out into the magnificent chill of the imagination and then returns us to ourselves both changed and consoled Colson whiteheads Underground Railroad wins pulitzer librarian of congress Carla Hayden said in a statement that Smith shows us through these poems how to think and feel our way through these big ideas it's wonderful that her poetry can be so big and sprawling in its themes and at the same time laser focused in its words the laureates responsibilities are few allowing appointees to establish individual projects and priorities such as the workshops for women organized by Maxine Tillman the job's official title is the lofty poet laureate consultant in poetry with a more grounded stipend of $35,000 the laureate serves as the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans according to the library and seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry

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