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Tracy K Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate will be in Sturgis, SD, Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Sturgis Public Library.
Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Tracy K Smith, U.S. Poet Laureate will be in Sturgis, SD, Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Sturgis Public Library.

U.S. Poet Laureate will present, discuss new anthology at Sturgis Public Library


F.Ganje - October 2, 2018

STURGIS, SD - U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will unveil a new anthology featuring the works of 50 living American poets of different ages and backgrounds during a visit to the Black Hills October 5-6, 2018

Smith, a Pulitizer Prize winning author, will participate in public events in Spearfish on Friday, October 5, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at the Matthews Opera House & Arts Center and on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Sturgis Public Library at 10:00 a.m., with a continental breakfast provided at 9:00 a.m.

The program is a perfect fit for the Sturgis library, says director Julie Moore Peterson, and a rare opportunity to meet a sitting U.S. Poet Laureate.

“Tracy is  particularly interested in rural readers, shares Peterson, “which is why she chose the Sturgis Public Library.  We serve a population of approximately 25,000 people in a 3,000 square mile service area.”   

The event is co-hosted by the South Dakota Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit that provides humanities programming to South Dakotans. Those attending can meet and interact with Smith, who is touring four different locations in the U.S. to unveil the anthology “American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time” and engage audiences in conversations about poetry. Smith will read selections of her own poetry and pieces from “American Journal”.

“I believe that any opportunity to hear an author speak about their work and process, an author who is especially interested in learning about people in rural areas, gives us an opportunity,” says Peterson. “Poetry says so much in so few words.”

Smith is currently serving as the 52nd Poet Laureate of the United States, an office she assumed in 2017. She has published three collections of poetry, winning the Pulitzer Prize for her 2011 volume "Life on Mars." Her autobiography in 2015 was listed as a finalist for the National Book Award.  

“What I like in her poetry,” shares Peterson,  “is her versatility and range.”  From science fiction  to David Bowie, to the Hubble Telescope, it’s an eclectic mix grounded in a strong connection to the classic work of such poets as Emily Dickinson, one of Tracy’s favorites.”

The event and continental breakfast are free and open to the public.  Peterson encourages those who plan to take part in the breakfast to contact the library ahead of the event by phone, email or on Facebook in order for planners to accommodate everyone.  Patrons may also stop by the library to give advance notice of attendance.

Smith will be giving away copies of the anthology during the Black Hills events and will be available to sign copies.



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