Tracy K. Smith and Michael Kleber-Diggs — ‘History is upon us... its hand against our back.’
On Being with Krista Tippett
The pandemic memoirs began almost immediately, and now comes another kind of offering — a searching look at the meaning of the racial catharsis to which the pandemic in some sense gave birth and voice and life. Tracy K. Smith co-edited the stunning book, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis, a collection of 40 pieces that span an array of BIPOC voices from Edwidge Danticat to Reginald Dwayne Betts, from Layli Long Soldier to Ross Gay to Julia Alvarez. Tracy and Michael Kleber-Diggs, who also contributed an essay, join Krista for a conversation that is quiet and fierce and wise. They reflect inward and outward, backwards and forwards, from inside the Black experience of this pivotal time to be alive.Tracy K. Smith — is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University and the former Poet Laureate of the United States. Her poetry collections include Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Duende, and Wade in the Water. Her memoir is Ordinary Light. She’s the co-editor of the book, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis.Michael Kleber-Diggs — teaches creative writing through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and at colleges and high schools in Minnesota. He’s a contributor to the book, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis. His debut collection, Worldly Things, has been awarded the 2021 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
Toi Derricotte joins Kevin Young to read “We Feel Now a Largeness Coming On,” by Tracy K. Smith, and her own poem “I give in to an old desire.” Derricotte is a poet, memoirist, and co-founder, with Cornelius Eady, of the literary organization Cave Canem. Her honors include the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry and the Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement; in 2020, she received the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal, for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.
Here’s a conversation with Tracy K. Smith about poetry, history, memory, and wonder. Smith collects awards and prizes the way the rest of us collect traffic tickets (only hers are well-deserved!) She served as poet laureate of the United States from 2017 to 2019. She is the author of four prize-winning poetry collections, including Wade in the Water and Life on Mars, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Her 2016 memoir Ordinary Light was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2018, she curated an anthology called American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time—bringing together contemporary writers to create a poetic exploration of 21st century America. She’s also written the librettos for two operas and serves as the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton where she teaches creative writing. Her writing sings from the page. It is lyrical, accessible and crucial—combining honesty and imagination as she explores issues of race, family, and the infinite. In this podcast, she reads and discusses some of her poems and delves into her belief that the language of poetry with its multiplicity of voices can create possibilities with wide and deep implications. Tracy K. Smith is a voice for our time—both on the page and in this interview.
S4 Ep. 9: Making Good: Tracy K. Smith and Kawai Strong Washburn On Biden's Debts to His Base (Especially Black Women)
In this week’s episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction, co-hosts Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan are joined by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and novelist Kawai Strong Washburn, who talk about what the Biden administration owes the BIPOC and women voters who got them elected. First, Smith discusses building bridges as a nation, and shares excerpts of her award-winning collection, Wade in the Water. Then, Hawaii-born Washburn talks about the power of community organizing, and reads from his acclaimed debut, Sharks in the Time of Saviors.To hear the full episode, subscribe to the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app (include the forward slashes when searching). You can also listen by streaming from the player below. And check out video excerpts from our interviews at LitHub’s Virtual Book Channel and Fiction/Non/Fiction’s YouTube Channel.This podcast is produced by Andrea Tudhope.Selected readings:Tracy K. Smith The Cancer Journals Life On Mars: Poems Wade In The Water: Poems American Journal: Fifty Poems For Our Time Ordinary Light: A Memoir Duende: Poems “Poet Tracy K. Smith Pays Tribute to Kamala Harris,” Vogue Kawai Strong Washburn Sharks in the Time of Saviors “What the Ocean Eats,” McSweeney’s Others: “Biden's First 100 Days: Here's What To Expect” by Elena Moore, NPR America Amplified: Election 2020, a six-episode national talk show from the CPB public media initiative America Amplified “Portraits of Reconciliation: 20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, reconciliation still happens one encounter at a time,” by Pieter Hugo and Susan Dominus, New York Times “Kama'āina: Kawai Strong Washburn Interviewed by Kathryn Savage,” BOMB Magazine Malcolm X Biography Senator Ted Cruz on Twitter: "By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, President Biden indicates he's more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh. This agreement will do little to affect the climate and will harm the livelihoods of Americans." “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Sunday Magazine Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ep 21: Tracy K. Smith and John Clare, Love In Millennia Poem and Update
Love In Millennia
On this week's episode I will be reading poetry from the work of Tracy K. Smith and John Clare. I share one of my own poems, and I give an update about Love in Millennia. Don't forget to subscribe and rate/review the podcast. Thanks!
In today's episode, host Daniel Chacon talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Tracy K Smith. In this interview, Smith talks about her book ‘Wade in the Water,’ her early years discovering the craft of poetry, and her role as a professor at Princeton University with the new generation of writers.
Radical Imagination: Tracy K. Smith, Marilyn Nelson, and Terrance Hayes on Poetry in Our Times
The New Yorker: Poetry
In a special episode of the Poetry Podcast, Tracy K. Smith, Marilyn Nelson, and Terrance Hayes join Kevin Young to read their work, and to discuss its relationship to protest and liberation. Tracy K. Smith served two terms as a U.S. poet laureate, and has won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a Pulitzer prize. Her latest collection is “Wade in the Water.” Marilyn Nelson writes poetry for adults, young adults, and children. Her honors include a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, an N. S. K. Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, and a Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America. Her new books, “Papa’s Free Day Party” and “Lubaya’s Quiet Roar,” are forthcoming. Terrance Hayes, a former MacArthur fellow, has won a Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism, a Hurston/Wright Award for Poetry, and a National Book Award in Poetry. His most recent publications include “To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight” and “American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin.”
In an effort to do a better job of amplifying voices that for so long have been muted or left out of conversations, Marguerite and Emily would like to use the platform they created with Millennial Poets Society to share the work of Black artists starting with segments from some of their previously recorded episodes. This segment is from their very first episode, published on International Women's Day in 2019. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/mps-podcast/support
S1E3: Poetry as Politics: Poet Laureates Tracy K. Smith and Marie Howe
Tokens with Lee C. Camp
A strange conversion experience has happened to religion here in the Bible belt: once known as a key to social transformation, these days it’s more likely the mechanism of socio-political conservatism. So perhaps one of the key questions to living life well in our contemporary world is how to get troubled. Poetry, anyone? The unlikely possibility that poetry could do anything of the sort is explored by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, and former NY State Poet Laureate Marie Howe, as they both claim the possibility that poetry can do a great deal of troubling of the waters, can provide a counter-spell to the hypnotizing forces of either social hostility or consumerism. LINKS: Tracy K. Smith book, “Life on Mars: Poems” Tracy K. Smith book, "Wade in the Water: Poems” Marie Howe book, ”What the Living Do” Marie Howe book, “Magdalene: Poems” Tokens 2020 Subscriptions See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It’s the rare podcast conversation where, as it’s happening, I’m making notes to go back and listen again so I can fully absorb what I heard. But this is that kind of episode.Tracy K. Smith is the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, and a two-time poet laureate of the United States (2017-19). But I’ll be honest: She was an intimidating interview for me. I often find myself frustrated by poetry, yearning for it to simply tell me what it wants to say and feeling aggravated that I can’t seem to crack its code.Preparing for this conversation and (even more so) talking to Smith was a revelation. Poetry, she argues, is about expressing “the feelings that defy language.” The struggle is part of the point: You’re going where language stumbles, where literalism fails. Developing a comfort and ease in those spaces isn’t something we’re taught to do, but it’s something we need to do. And so, on one level, this conversation is simply about poetry: what it is, what it does, how to read it.But on another level, this conversation is also about the ideas and tensions that Smith uses poetry to capture: what it means to be a descendent of slaves, a human in love, a nation divided. Laced throughout our conversation are readings of poems from her most recent book, Wade in the Water, and discussions of some of the hardest questions in the American, and even human, canon. Hearing Smith read her erasure poem, “Declaration,” is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful moments I’ve had on the podcast.There is more to this conversation than I can capture here, but simply put: This isn’t one to miss. And that’s particularly true if, like me, you’re intimidated by poetry.References: Smith’s lecture before the Library of Congress Smith’s commencement speech at Wellesley College Book recommendations: Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith Quilting by Lucille Clifton Bodega by Su Hwang New to the show? Want to check out Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule!Want to contact the show? Reach out at email@example.comCredits:Engineer - Cynthia GilProducer/Editor - Jeff GeldResearcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices