Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Tracy K. Smith

Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Tracy K. Smith.

Tracy K. Smith is the author of three books of poetry. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007) won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question (2003) was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005.

Smith’s poems embody the lyrical, rhythmic quality of masters such as Lorca. At times political, whimsical, and always meditative, they speak largely to the role of art and to the conception of what it means to be American, dealing with the “evolution and decline of the culture we belong to.” Her work also explores the dichotomy between the ordered world and the irrationality of the self, the importance of submitting oneself willingly to the “ongoing conflict” of life and surviving nonetheless. For Smith, in her own words, poetry is a way of “stepping into the mess of experience.” Continue reading

Pulitzer Prize Winner Barbara Walsh

Author Barbara Walsh

Barbara Walsh is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and magazines in Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Ireland. Her book, Sammy in the Sky, is illustrated by painter Jamie Wyeth; it was inspired by her family’s first dog, Sam, a loyal and loving hound who died in 2004. She is also the author of August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm, an adult biography and memoir. Barbara lives in Maine with her family and their coonhound Jack, a rescue dog from Tennessee.

A conversation with Barbara Walsh:

Barbara discussing her book August Gale at the Bailey Library in Winthrop, Maine:

August Gale book trailer:

You can see Barbara at this year’s Book Festival on Saturday, September 22 at 4 PM in the Great Room of Main Street Landing’s Performing Arts Center.