US Poet Laureate to Visit Door County

Calling all bibliophiles and poetry lovers! Door County will have a treat on October 11 when the current US Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith, visits the peninsula. This public reading event is coordinated by Write On, Door County, the county’s premiere writing and creative group.

Smith earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University. Smith was named US Poet Laureate in 2017. To date, Smith has written four books of poetry including: The Body’s Question, Duende, Life on Mars, and Wade in the Water.

The Body’s Question received the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet. Its focus is the search for one’s identity and its intersection with others. Duende, a Spanish term for an elevated state of emotion, expression, and authenticity, is the title of the second book that explores personal intersections within the context of folk traditions, political resistance and personal survival, giving voice to suppressed cultures.

The third collection, Life on Mars, with allusions to the musician/performer, David Bowie, is a sci-fi adventure taking readers on an exploration of existence including the ups and downs, oddities, and quirks of human experience. Her most recent release, Wade in the Water, explores the connection between the history of our nation and contemporary movements. Her shift between past and present is fluid as water, making a seamless connection throughout.

Tracy K. Smith will present a public reading of her work at the Southern Door Auditorium on October 11 at 7 pm. In addition to Tracy, the living Wisconsin and Door County Poet Laureates have announced they will be in attendance. The program is free and open to the public.

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