Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet to Speak at SUNY Canton

Tracy K. SmithAs part of the college’s African-American History Month celebration, SUNY Canton will welcome a Pulitzer Prize-winning author to campus for its popular Living Writers Series.

Director of Creative Writing at Princeton University Tracy K. Smith, who won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for her poetry collection “Life on Mars,” will speak at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center’s Kingston Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

“Life on Mars” has been hailed by critics and was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. It was also named a Notable Book of 2011 by the New York Times and an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review.

The publisher describes “Life on Mars” as a portrait of a sci-fi future will illusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel. Smith imagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the discoveries, failures and oddities of human existence.

In addition to a reading from “Life on Mars,” Smith will also discuss her memoir “Ordinary Light,” published in 2015. “Ordinary Light” delves into her relationship with her mother and her journey as an artist.

Life on Mars Cover Art“Ms. Smith’s works in both poetry and prose have earned her some of the highest accolades in American literature,” said SUNY Canton Assistant Professor of English Phil K. LaMarche, who created the series. “Please join us for the event and help us kick off African-American History month on our campus.”

Born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California, Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. She taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University before joining the faculty at Princeton as a creative writing professor in 2005.

Smith’s visit is made possible thanks to grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“The Living Writers Series has proven to be a valuable asset to SUNY Canton and the community,” LaMarche said. “The NEA grant will help continue our mission of bringing a diverse group of creative artists and intellectual minds to our campus.”

For information about the Living Writers Series, visit www.canton.edu/writers.

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 11 exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.

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