Life on Mars, Tracy K. Smith, 2011

Smith, 45 years old, the Director of the creative writing program at Princeton and the author of three poetry collections, has recently been named the 22nd Poet Laureate of the Library of Congress and the US.  Rereading this Pulitzer Prize winning book of poetry was not easy.   Her poetry is not lyrical or rhythmic, rhyming or brief, but it’s powerful and timely.  Her poems about her father and especially the one about racial killings are strong and serious efforts.