Tracy K. Smith on life, death, poetry and outer space
Tracy K. Smith won a Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 book of poetry, Life on Mars, which took its title from the David Bowie song of the same name. In its exploration of cosmic mysteries, the work was in part an elegy for her father, an electrical engineer who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. She followed it up with her 2015 memoir, Ordinary Light, which was named one of the best books of the year. A former U.S. Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith is now professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. *This episode originally aired on May 29, 2016.