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Wade in the Water


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The extraordinary new collection by the Poet Laureate of the United States.

About the Author

Tracy K. Smith is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and a memoir, Ordinary Light, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 2017 she was named Poet Laureate of the United States. She teaches at Princeton University.


Smith's new book is scorching in both its steady cognizance of America's original racial sins . . . and apprehension about history's direction. . . . These historical poems have a homely, unvarnished sort of grace * The New York Times *
The poems in Wade in the Water are full of memorable images nimbly put together by Smith's exquisite sense of timing and her feel for the kind of language appropriate to the poem. * The New York Times Book Review *
Smith brings great intelligence and sensitivity to her poems, leading readers deeper into other people's stories and ultimately into their own humanity. * The Washington Post *
Smith's poetry is an awakening itself * Vogue *
In lines that are as lyrical as they are wise . . . Smith makes connections between the current state of American culture and its history * BuzzFeed *
Smith is the country's poetic caretaker, calling both for collective reckoning and collective empathy * The Atlantic *
On a craft level, these poems are impeccable. . . . I know brilliance when I read it and this book is brilliant -- Roxane Gay
For Smith, poetry is hospitable: accommodating whatever she is moved to write. Her work witnesses, protests and raises its own roof. . . . Smith emerges as a poet in charge of her own creation myth and a recorder of destructive realities * The Observer *
Her work witnesses, protests and raises its own roof.... Excellent and bracing -- Kate Kellaway * Observer *
Powerful and tender * Elle *
Unmissable... a collection of poems exploring what it means to be a woman and a citizen in a culture directed by wealth, men and violence * Stylist *
Personal and ambitious * Porter *

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