Unlike other works that explore the dysfunctional family bond, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith’s Ordinary Light: A Memoir is a beautiful ode to the strong tie that exists between a mother and a daughter. Her poetic and poignant memoir paints a complex picture not only of family bonds but also the devastating effects of cancer.
Smith, who had been raised by her stay-at-home mother and engineer father, has never known true loss until her mother was diagnosed with cancer before she went off to college. In an attempt to honor her mother’s life and explore her own memories, she paints a fascinating picture of her parents’ memories of the Civil Rights movement and juxtaposes the hardships they faced with her own cosseted childhood in California and the independence she faced when she attended Harvard.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, April 21st, 2015||No Comments »|
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a BFF that enjoys the exact same hobbies as you do, and for poets Tina Chang and Tracy K. Smith, who were both given the opportunity to read some of their work and then interview each other at Strand Bookstore in December 2012, that’s fortunately a reality. In the interview, both poets read from their pieces and talk about how their lives have shaped their poetry over the years. Smith admits that some of her writing influences include her own musings on spirituality and loss. She adds that the first duty of a poet is to listen. Poets have a duty to be receptive, she explains, which helps enrich their writing. Meanwhile, Chang admits that 9-11 greatly affected her as a writer—she went from being a spectator observing the world to having a profound realization that horrors can come to our shores. Since that day, her writing has taken on a more lyrical quality.
From overcoming personal tragedies to inspiring writer’s retreats, the deep bond between the two women shines clearly throughout the interview and is a superb example of the power of friendship.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, March 5th, 2014||No Comments »|