Author: Tracy K. Smith
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Greywolf Press
In Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties America’s contemporary moment both to our nation’s fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting.
These are poems of sliding scale: some capture a flicker of song or memory; some collage an array of documents and voices; and some push past the known world into the haunted, the holy. Smith’s signature voice―inquisitive, lyrical, and wry―turns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother, and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men, and violence.
Here, private utterance becomes part of a larger choral arrangement as the collection widens to include erasures of The Declaration of Independenceand the correspondence between slave owners, a found poem comprised of evidence of corporate pollution and accounts of near-death experiences, a sequence of letters written by African Americans enlisted in the Civil War, and the survivors’ reports of recent immigrants and refugees.
Wade in the Water is a potent and luminous book by one of America’s essential poets.
Author Bio :
Tracy K. Smith is the Poet Laureate of the United States, and author of three acclaimed books of poetry: The Body's Question, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Duende, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award; and, most recently, Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and a New Yorker, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.
Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Other honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, a Whiting Writers' Award, and an Academy of American Poets Fellowship.
A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, she lives in Princeton with her family.
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