Meet Tracy K. Smith, the new Poet Laureate


Tracy K. Smith is the new Poet Laureate for the United States. Although born in Massachusetts, she grew up in Fairfield, California. She knows that many readers are intimidated by poetry (myself included) and she wants to help America push past that anxiety. "What do you hear? What do you feel? What does this remind you of? These are all real and valid reactions to a poem ... I would love to go to places where people might be struggling, where people might wonder if there are voices out there for them," she says. Are you brave enough to check out some poetry?

Last year's Poet Laureate was Juan Felipe Herrera.      

Billy Collins, dubbed "the most popular poet in America", served two terms as US Poet Laureate, from 2001-2003. He's famous for conversational, witty poems that welcome readers with humor but often slip into quirky, tender or profound observations on the everyday, reading and writing, and poetry itself. Collins says of his poetry that it is “suburban, it’s domestic, it’s middle class, and it’s sort of unashamedly that.” With poetry readings that invariably sell out, and frequent appearances on NPR's Prairie Home Companion, Collins’s level of fame is almost unprecedented in the world of contemporary poetry. 


And here's a book, written by a poet, for those of us who may not always be crazy about poetry.

"Poetry doesn't want to be your friend. Get over it. For poet, novelist, and MacArthur Fellow Ben Lerner, the only kind of love poetry permits is tough love. It's an art with a mean streak, or at least a highly forbidding, unlikable temper." -- Kirkus Reviews
Do you agree? Can poetry be tamed? 



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