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Poet Laureates Meet, Word Magic Happens 
Kallet and Smith

Two poet laureates met in Knoxville last week: Knoxville’s Poet Laureate Marilyn Kallet, left, introduced Poet Laureate of the United States Tracy K. Smith to an afternoon class at the University of Tennessee, where Kallet served as Director of the Creative Writing Program for many years until she retired in 2018.

In her introduction, Kallet said: 

"Tracy K. Smith is working tirelessly on behalf of poetry and all of us. When I posted on Facebook that she was reading at UT, poets from around the country chimed in: 'She was just here!' 'She’s amazing!' 'She’s a great reader!' Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Florence, SC. Tracy K. Smith is giving Walt Whitman a run for the 'not-in-it-for-the money': she’s singing inclusive multitudes." 

Smith, who was named our nation's 22nd Poet Laureate in 2017, read from her acclaimed works and answered questions posed by audience members. 

That evening, Smith read again at the newly constructed Strong Hall for an audience that included students and members of the public. Her selections included “Wade in the Water” from her 2018 collection of the same name. Smith curated the selections on Poem-A-Day for the entire month of April 2019; you can read her thoughts on that process, as well as the poems she chose, on Poets.org.  

Tracy K. Smith

Read more about Knoxville's Poet Laureate program and Dr. Kallet on our website, where you will also find several of her poems that she's read during, and written specifically for, City events. 

Posted by ptravis On 15 April, 2019 at 4:02 PM