Public Poetry Reading by Pulitzer Prize Poet at Stuart

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart will be hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Tracy K. Smith as the featured author at the school’s “8th Annual Lies, Light, McCarthy Visiting Author Program.”

The public is invited to a reading on Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 7:00pm with a book signing will follow. This event is free of charge. Seats may be reserved at

“Tracy K. Smith’s work is lauded for combining science, faith and art which fits beautifully into how we educate our girls here at Stuart,” said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, Head of School. “We are delighted to bring such an incredibly gifted and inspiring writer to campus to spend the day mentoring our girls and speaking to the greater community.”

Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015) and three books of poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, 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. In 2014, the Academy of American Poets awarded her with the Academy Fellowship, honored to one poet each year in recognition of distinguished poetic achievement.

After completing her undergraduate work at Harvard University, Smith earned her MFA at Columbia University before going on to be a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University from 1997 to 1999. She has taught at Columbia, City University of New York, and the University of Pittsburgh, and is currently the Director of Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program. She lives in Princeton.

As part of the Visiting Author Program at Stuart, students, faculty and staff have been reading and studying Smith’s work and Senior Scholars have worked with Lower and Middle School girls in preparation for her visit. In addition to the public reading on April 14, Smith will spend the day on campus on Friday, April 15. She will meet with students of all ages at Stuart to share her expertise on the craft of writing; she will spend time with each division separately, including the kindergarten – grade 4 Lower School girls, Middle School grades 5-8, and Upper School grades 9-12. She will also spend time with faculty and have lunch with the Stuart Senior Scholars.

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