Photo of Tracy K. Smith courtesy of Slowking4 under GFDL 1.2

We want so much,
When perhaps we live best
In the spaces between loves,

That unconscious roving,
The heart its own rough animal.

Tracy K. Smith, The Body’s Question [recommended]

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will soon bring the power of poetry to listeners across the globe as host of a weekday podcast and radio feature titled The Slowdown. ThIs five-minute program encourages listeners to make a daily space for poetry in an increasingly busy and chaotic world.

“Poetry isn’t an escape or even a luxury,” Smith said. “I’d argue it’s a necessity, a means of living more deeply with reality.”

The celebrated poet will read works by writers from around the country and the world and explore how poetry helps us better understand life, history, art, science and more. The show will debut on podcast platforms in November; it will be made available to public radio stations nationwide early next year.

“I’m excited to continue the work I’ve done as poet laureate in celebrating poems and the conversations they foster. And thanks to technology’s ability to collapse the distance between people—to give you the feeling that there is one person out there speaking directly and only to you— geography is no longer a barrier to participation,” Smith said. “I think this is a perfect medium for talking about the very real and natural ways that poems speak to the daily experience of being alive.”


American Poet Tracy K. Smith (b. 1972)

TRACY K. SMITH is serving her secon term as Poet Laureate of the United States, and author of three acclaimed books of poetry: The Body’s Question, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Duende, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award; and, most recently, Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a New Yorker, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Other honors include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and an Academy of American Poets Fellowship. A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, she lives in Princeton with her family. Photo and bio from Tracy’s Amazon page HERE.

The Slowdown program is funded by the Poetry Foundation, the Chicago-based independent literary organization and publisher of Poetry magazine, and the support of the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, The Slowdown is produced by American Public Media (APM) and will launch on podcast platforms on November 26. The Slowdown will be made available for broadcast on public radio stations across the United States beginning January 14.

Listen to a trailer for The Slowdown and subscribe here.

Listeners can find The Slowdown on Apple Podcasts and all podcast platforms beginning November 26. Public radio broadcasting details for The Slowdown will be announced this winter.






Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”

* The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton


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