U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will speak on the Hanover College campus, Tuesday, Nov. 27, during her special three-day tour of Indiana. The appearance is part of Indiana Humanities’ “Quantum Leap” initiative and is supported by the Hanover Enrichment Series.
Named the nation’s 52nd poet laureate in 2017, Smith is presently serving a second term as the nation’s official poet. She has published three collections of her works, including “Life on Mars,” which earned a Pulitzer Prize in 2012.
Smith’s lecture, followed by a question-and-answer session and book-signing, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hanover College Science Center. Admission is free, however, patrons are encouraged to reserve seats online in advance. Tickets may be printed or scanned upon entry from a barcode on a mobile phone.
Born in Falmouth, Mass., Smith was raised in northern California. She returned to Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and later received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Columbia University. She is currently director of the creative writing program at Princeton University.
Smith’s first collection, “The Body's Question,” was published in 2003 and won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet. “Duende,” published in 2007, earned the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Essence Literary Award. She followed “Life on Mars” with a memoir, “Ordinary Light,” which was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction.
Her latest effort, “Wade in the Water,” was released in April.
Smith has earned numerous honors, including the Academy of American Poets Fellowship in 2014, Rona Jaffe Writers Award, Whiting Award, Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and a fellowship from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference.
Indiana Humanities is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the public humanities. The entity was started in 1972 when the National Endowment for the Humanities asked a small group of Indiana citizens to form a grant-making agency. The organization encourages Hoosiers to think, read and talk through grants for programs such as ‘Quantum Leap,’ Next Indiana Campfires, INconversation, Novel Conversations, “Chew on This” and more.
“Quantum Leap” is an effort to encourage Hoosiers to explore and celebrate the spirit of possibility and problem-solving that occurs through the connection of the humanities with science, technology, engineering, math and medicine.
The Hanover Enrichment Series is presented by Tricia and Will Hagenah, with additional support from the McManaman Trust and German American Bank.