United States Poet Laureate to Visit Oakwood University

Tracy K. Smith, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, at home in Princeton, N.J., June 6, 2017. The Library of Congress has named Smith the next poet laureate, an appointment she hopes to use to evangelize for the art form. ÒPoetry is something thatÕs relevant to everyoneÕs life, whether theyÕre habitual readers of poetry or not,Ó she said. (James Estrin/The New York Times)
On October 25, 2018, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith is the invited special guest for the J.L. Moran Lecture Series, at Oakwood University’s Moran Hall, starting at 7:00 p.m.
A United States poet laureate is an annual appointment by the Library of Congress in which a poet is employed as a poet consultant to increase the nation’s appreciation for the reading and writing of poetry.
Mrs. Smith is the author of four books of poetry, Wade in the Water (2018), Life on Mars (2011) winner of the 2012 Pulitzer award, Duende (2007) and The Body’s Question (Graywolf Press, 2003).

As the Department of English and Foreign Languages excitedly awaits Mrs. Smith’s arrival next week, Dr. Ramona Hyman, department chair, remarked that “The goal of the Department of English and Foreign languages, as it relates to the visit of Tracy K. Smith, is to expose Oakwood University students specifically, and the larger community as well, to the literary arts. We want to encourage Oakwood students to transmit their internal experiences to the outer world—to symbolize their experiences in words. Further, exposure to literary artists of the quality of Tracy K. Smith will encourage our students to explore the literary arts as a profession.”

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The mission of Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.