Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

The Rupture Tense by Jenny Xie has been longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for PoetryMore here

Book Title

Such Color

New and Selected Poems
Author 1
Tracy K. Smith
Poem Excerpt
Is the world intended for me? Not just me but
The we that fills me? Our shadows reel and dart.

Our blood simmers, stirred back. What if
The world has never had—will never have—our backs?

The world has never had—will never have—our backs.
Our blood simmers, stirred back. What if

The we that fills me, our shadows real and dark,
Is the world intended for me?

—from  “I Sit Outside in Low Late-Afternoon Light to Feel Earth Call to Me”
Celebrated for its extraordinary intelligence and exhilarating range, the poetry of Tracy K. Smith opens up vast questions. Such Color: New and Selected Poems traces an increasingly audacious commitment to exploring the immense mysteries and conundrums of human existence. Each of Smith’s four collections moves farther outward: when one seems to reach the limits of desire and the body, the next investigates the very sweep of history; when one encounters death and the outer reaches of space, the next bears witness to violence against language and people from across time, delving into the rescuing possibilities of the everlasting. 

Such Color collects the best poems from Smith’s award-winning books and culminates in brilliant and excoriating new poems. These new works confront America’s historical and contemporary racism and injustices, while they also rise toward the registers of the ecstatic, the rapturous, and the sacred—urging us toward love as a resistance to everything that impedes it. Now in paperback, this magnificent retrospective affirms Smith’s place as one of the twenty-first century’s most treasured poets. 

Share Title

List Price
Publication Date
Publication Date
Trim Size
Trim Size
6 x 9
Now in paperback from Tracy K. Smith, former Poet Laureate of the United States

About the Author

Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith is the author of Wade in the Water, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; 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 Harvard University.
More by author

Upcoming Events

Tracy K. Smith reading and in conversation about SUCH COLOR at Blacksmith House

Blacksmith House in Cambridge, MAview map
Check back for more details and registration info. 


  • “Haunting and vital, [Such Color is] the perfect encapsulation of a remarkable body of work.”TIME
  • “Both timeless and urgent, [Such Color] serves as a humbling and invigorating reawakening from sorrow and apathy.”Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • “The collected poems reflect the bright arc of Smith's career. . . . [Her] admirers will enjoy revisiting favorite poems and reading new works, while this volume will stand as a welcoming and dazzling introduction to Smith's poetry for first-timers.”Booklist, starred review
Back to Table of Contents