Guest Editor
The Best American Poetry 2021

  Tracy K. Smith
Photo © Stephanie Mitchell

Tracy K. Smith was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1972 and was raised in Fairfield, California. She studied at Harvard University, where she joined the Dark Room Collective, a reading series for writers of color. She went on to receive her MFA from Columbia University. Her collection Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011) won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her other books of poetry are Wade in the Water (Graywolf, 2018), winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; Duende (Graywolf, 2007), which was awarded the 2006 James Laughin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and her debut collection The Body's Question (Graywolf, 2003), which received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is also the author of a memoir, Ordinary Light; the editor of an anthology, American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time (2018), and the cotranslator (with Changtai Bi) of My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems by Yi Lei. From 2017-2019, she served two terms as the twenty-second Poet Laureate of the United States. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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