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Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and Percival Everett's Telephone has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.


Tracy K. Smith
Duende, that dark and elusive force described by Federico García Lorca, is the undefinable ability of the artist to channel creative and ecstatic power from within. But it is essential, Lorca says, for duende to include and accept and even serenade death.
  Tracy K. Smith's bold second poetry collection explores history and the intersections of folk traditions and political resistance. One poem tells of a Ho-Chuk Indian boy separated from his tribe by the government; another, written as a play, gives voice to Ugandan women kidnapped by rebel commanders and forced to become their wives; and others, with lyrical grace, describe the dissolution of a marriage, often against the backdrops of war and political violence. Duende gives passionate testament to these cultures and their histories, and allows them to sing.

Praise for The Body's Question:

"This is a smart, daring first book of poems. Driven by Smith's raging desire of imagination, many of these often quiet poems describe something that's not there with deft grammar reaching toward possibility. Simple language, yet deceptively striking, and intelligent poems."—Listed as one of eight best poetry books in Black Issues Book Review

"The most persuasively haunted poems here are those where she casts herself not simply as a dutiful curator of personal history but a canny medium of fellow feeling and the stirrings of the collective unconscious...and it's this charged air of rapt apprehension that gives her spare, fluid lines their coolly incantatory tenor as she warms to the task of channeling disquieting visions and fugitive voices."—The New York Times Book Review

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The second poetry collection by Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

About the Author

Tracy K. Smith
Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Tracy K. Smith is the author of Wade in the Water; Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Duende, winner of the James Laughlin Award; and The Body’s Question, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She is also the editor of an anthology, American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time, and the author of a memoir, Ordinary Light, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. From 2017 to 2019, Smith served as Poet Laureate of the United States. She teaches at Princeton University.
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  • “[Smith’s] lyric brilliance and political impulses never falter under the considerable weight of her subject matter.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Duende continues to expand Smith’s impressive range.”—The Village Voice
  • “Passionate and political.”Rosemary Herbert, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
  • "They are vital and resilient poems; they wake up the reader by playing with his nerves. Their energy seems to spring from their faith in something undefined—the human spirit, perhaps, and the inexhaustible verve of earth."—Magill Book Reviews


This book is made possible, in part, through the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a first-book award dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets, and through the Jerome Foundation, which supports new works by emerging artists in New York City and Minnesota. It is also supported by the generosity of Graywolf Press donors like you.
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