Boerum Hill resident Tracy K. Smith has won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her collection “Life on Mars,” which the prize committee called “a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain.”
There was plenty for Smith to celebrate when she discovered the news of her award April 16: It was also the Princeton University Assistant Professor’s 40th birthday. Published by Graywolf Press in 2011, “Mars” is Smith’s third published book.
In its review, The New York Times notes, “Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we’re alone in the universe; it’s to accept—or at least endure—the universe’s mystery. Publishers Weekly says “Life on Mars” “blends pop culture, history, elegy, anecdote and sociopolitical commentary to illustrate the weirdness of contemporary living.”
The prize-winning collection follows Smith’s 2007 “Duende,” which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry; and 2003′s “The Body’s Question.”
(Photo: New York Daily News)