Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Appreciation …

… The Trouble You Promised: Reading Tracy K. Smith - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Smith’s reimaginings of authority are fundamentally intertwined with concerns about race, as well as about gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class, all of which she has explicitly addressed. She has given us a small Black girl as a poem’s authoritative center (reminiscent of Lucille Clifton’s “the earth is a living thing”); she has made the voices of victims of hate crimes echo from America’s most iconic monuments. Which is why I struggled somewhat with Smith’s remark, in an interview with The Adroit Journal, that it wasn’t until she wrote her memoir Ordinary Light (2015) that she realized “how much [she] needed to talk about race.” It’d been my sense that, implicitly and explicitly, she’d been talking about race for years.

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