Maui Arts & Entertainment

Merwin Conservancy Presents US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

January 6, 2018, 3:20 PM HST
* Updated January 5, 3:02 PM
Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will make an apperance in The Green Room on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

The Merwin Conservancy will present an intimate evening with current US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith in The Green Room on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

Kicking off it’s fifth year on Maui, The Merwin Conservancy ‘Green Room’ series is an environmental and literary salon series that is hosted by the Conservancy and fosters a reverence for language, nature, and imagination.

Smith will make her appearance in The Green Room at 7 p.m. in the McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center with a reading of her poetry, followed by an intimate Q&A with the audience, and book signing at a courtyard reception with refreshments, book fair, and live musical entertainment.

Tracy K. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Ordinary Light” (Knopf, 2015) and three books of poetry. Her poetry collection “Life on Mars” won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. “Duende” won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. “The Body’s Question” was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. In 2014 the Academy of American Poets awarded Smith with the Academy Fellowship, awarded to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. Her next collection of poems, “Wade in the Water,” is forthcoming in 2018.


In 2017, Smith was appointed the 22nd United States Poet Laureate. “The fact that Tracy K. Smith is joining us in Hawaii during her tenure as US Poet Laureate speaks to her generous spirit and her passion for reading for audiences across the country,” said Jason Denhart, Executive Director at The Merwin Conservancy. “We are truly honored and privileged that she will be here to share her gifts with us.”


Her other awards and honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, a 2004 Rona Jaffe Writers Award, a 2008 Essence Literary Award, a grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, a fellowship from the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2005 Whiting Award. She is the director of Princeton University’s creative writing program and lives in New Jersey.

About Smith’s writing, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said, “her work travels the world and takes on its voices; brings history and memory to life; calls on the power of literature as well as science, religion and pop culture. With directness and deftness, she contends with the heavens or plumbs our inner depths—all to better understand what makes us most human.”

Tickets are $25 per person, with a $10 rate for students presenting a valid student I.D. Tickets are available at the theater’s box office, at by phone at 808-242-SHOW, or online when purchased in advance.

E-Mail Newsletters Receive daily or weekly updates via e-mail. Subscribe Now
News Alerts Breaking news alerts on your mobile device. Get the App


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments