During these trying days of social distancing, self-isolating and quarantines, days rife with fear and anxiety, my colleagues and I thought you might like some company. So each day we will be introducing you to poets we have met over the years. The only contagion they will expose you to is a measure of joy, reflection and meditation brought on by “the best words in the best order.”
— Bill Moyers
Tracy K. Smith was the 22nd poet laureate of the United States from 2017 to 2019. She has published four collections of poetry and was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 volume Life on Mars. In this video, recorded last week in her home in New Jersey, she reads “An Old Story,” a poem from her most recent poetry collection, Wade in the Water, published by Graywolf Press.
“An Old Story”
By Tracy K. Smith
Smith teaches creative writing at Princeton University and hosts American Public Media’s daily radio program and podcast The Slowdown, which is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation.
Copyright © 2018 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted by permission of Tracy K. Smith.
Featured photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths