Poet Tracy K. Smith has been named the new U.S. Poet Laureate for 2017-2018 by the Library of Congress. Smith is the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning poetry volume Life on Mars (2011). She is also the author of the memoir Ordinary Light and two other books of poetry: Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award, and The Body's Question, which won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith states in the Washington Post, “It’s what every artist is hoping for: time and space and support for the freedom to create.”
Tracy K. Smith joins a small and elite group of only three other African American women poets who were named U.S. Poet Laureate: Gwendolyn Brooks (1985-1986), Rita Dove (1993-1995), and Natasha Trethewey (2012-2014).