Tracy K. Smith, an assistant professor of creative writing in Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Life on Mars, which the prize committee called “a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain.”
The Pulitzer Prize for poetry recognizes a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author. Life on Mars follows Smith’s 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet’s second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection.
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