Tuesday, January 30, 2018

U.S. poet laureate launches reading tour of rural places

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith has launched a pilot project to visit rural areas, where she says book festivals don't often take her. "I'm tasked with raising the conversation about poetry . . . What I'm interested in within that larger framework is talking about poems and poetry in places where those conversations don't often happen," Smith told Andrew Travers with The Aspen Times in Colorado. "I've been excited about going into small, rural communities that don't necessarily have access to those kinds of regular programming."

Smith, who was appointed last year by the Library of Congress, kicked off her tour earlier this month with a visit to New Mexico. On Jan. 13 she held a reading at Cannon Air Force Base outside Clovis, an agricultural town on the eastern plains of the state. On Jan. 14 she visited Santa Fe Indian School, and the day afterward visited Santa Clara Pueblo, a Native American community north of Santa Fe, Mary Hudetz reports for The Associated Press. She is expected to visit rural Kentucky and South Carolina in the coming months, Travers reports.

A creative writing professor at Princeton University, Smith won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for her work Life on Mars. Her memoir Ordinary Light was a National Book Award finalist in 2015.

No comments: