A New Perspective-Poet Laureate 2018-2019

Tracy K. Smith, an African American female poet originally from Massachusetts, was reappointed for Poet Laureate for the 2018-2019 year. Her amazing prose like, Duende, Wade in the Water, and My Life on Mars helped her earn the remarkable title originally. Each year, the Library Congress chooses to appoint one poet who has represented American poems as a whole and represented a greater appreciation for writing poetry.  Smith addresses social issues regarding race, gender, and sexual assault in many of her poems, attempting to shine a light on the frequent problematic controversies in today’s society. Smith has expresses her motive for writing this type of poetry as, “a way for her to ‘bring voice to the unsayable, the untranslatable.’”  Smith “strips down” her poetry to attain a raw and real meaning to the words she is expressing in her poetry. Her use of simple diction reflects an elegant tone that develops the structure to her topic.  Due to her title as Poet Laureate, Smith writes for the American people, not just a specific race or ethnicity; this is what makes her so unique. As a woman of African descent, having a different perspective for the voice of America’s poets creates a new approach to the position. Smith is very devoted to her fans and she often has poetry readings. Listening to the passion she portrays when reading her own poem aloud, takes the listeners and readers to another place. Her words become alive as they escape her mouth, the reader suddenly becomes the main character. As Smith takes the readers on the journey of her poem, the audience experiences the struggles Smith highlights. The impact the video makes is why Smith is Poet Laureate. Not only does she take a reader and make them into a minority American, allowing them to experience their struggles to try and grasp a different point of view.

Here Are the Poems I chose for my term paper that helped me experience Smith’s passion:


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2 Responses to A New Perspective-Poet Laureate 2018-2019

  1. nicolelee1012 says:

    Along with your thorough depiction of Tracy’s background, I really liked your use of active verbs, which make your passage itself more vivid and depict her passion behind the poems. How does she address social issues? What kind of techniques does she enjoy using in order to make her poems stronger and more compelling? I think quoting specific lines or giving examples that show her passion for her topics will convey your point more effectively.

  2. carrielauriasheehan says:

    This is a great post! I think that using videos was a well thought out idea that helps to strengthen your post. I would love to see some more background on Smith’s upbringing to be able to visualize what made her become the poet that she is today.

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