1 RA Tracy K Smith 1

Tracy K. Smith, photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

“As I see it, poems are always attempting to wrestle into words that which is large and which seems to defy language itself. It’s poetry’s fundamental conundrum,” Tracy K. Smith told Yale Literary Magazine in 2015. Smith, the U.S. Poet Laureate since 2017, has written four books of poetry, which explore subjects of the grandest scale and the most intimate. Life on Mars, her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2011 collection, questions what it means to be human — in relation not just to other humans but to the expanding universe. “Maybe the dead know, their eyes widening at last/seeing the high beams of a million galaxies flick on/at twilight,” she writes in “My God, It’s Full of Stars.” She will be in conversation with poet, essayist, and musician Joy Harjo — the author of Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings and How We Became Human, who was recently named an Academy of American Poets chancellor — at the Lensic Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Check for ticket availability at ticketssantafe.org, 505-988-1234.