Poet Tracy K. Smith Reading From Memoir at Labyrinth
The Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Tracy K. Smith, who has been praised in the New York Times Book Review for her “extraordinary range and ambition,” will be at Labyrinth Books reading from her new book, Ordinary Light: A Memoir today, Wednesday, April 1, at 6 p.m.
According to a starred review in Booklist, Ordinary Light is “A gracefully nuanced, strikingly candid memoir about family, faith, race, and literature … meticulously structured, philosophically inquisitive. Smith grew up in Northern California, snuggled close to her elegant and devout mother; challenged by her engineer father; and enthralled by books. As one of few African Americans in their community, she navigated a ‘sea of white faces,’ in stark contrast to the world she discovered when staying with relatives in Alabama. Smith holds our intellectual and emotional attention tightly as she charts her evolving thoughts on the divides between races, generations, economic classes, and religion and science and celebrates her lifesaving discovery of poetry as ‘soul language.’ Smith’s intricate and artistic memoir illuminates the rich and affecting complexity of ‘ordinary’ American lives.”
Novelist Jamaica Kincaid writes, “With an abundance of love and wisdom, and in a poet’s confessional prose, Tracy K. Smith has recalled her life and the lives of the people who made her into the person she now knows to be her own true self …. This memoir is big and significant because it reminds us that the everyday is where we experience our common struggles, and that the everyday is at once common and ordinary, while also being singular and unique.”
Tracy K. Smith is the author of the acclaimed poetry collections The Body’s Questions; Duende; and Life on Mars. She has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and currently teaches at Princeton University.