Commencement Speaker

Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith Delivered the 2018 Commencement Address

Tracy K. Smith, poet laureate of the United States and the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and director of the creative writing program at Princeton University, addressed the members of the Wellesley College class of 2018, and their families and friends, at Wellesley’s 140th Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 1, at 10:30 am.

About Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith was appointed U.S. poet laureate by the librarian of Congress in 2017, and in March 2018 she was reappointed to a second term for 2018–19. She is the author of four books of poetry: Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in poetry; Duende, which won the 2006 James Laughlin Award and 2008 Essence Literary Award; The Body’s Question, winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize; and Wade in the Water, published on April 3 of this year. Smith is also the author of Ordinary Light: A Memoir, which was a National Book Award finalist and was selected as a notable book by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Her other awards and honors include a Stegner Fellowship in poetry at Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, an Academy of American Poets fellowship, and a Whiting Award.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children.

Tracy K. Smith Reads from Life on Mars for PBS NewsHour

Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths / Blue Flower Arts