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Newspoet: Tracy K. Smith Writes The Day In Verse

Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered. Each month we’ll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day’s news.

The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.

Smith sat down with All Things Considered’s Melissa Block to talk about writing a poem in a hurry. She called the day she spent with NPR’s producers “delightful, and a little terrifying.”

But reflecting on the headlines isn’t exactly a new activity for Smith. In fact, she said she often finds that news events are “things I am thinking about and wrestling with and trying to understand better.” And for a poet, there’s no better way to do that than to write.

Listen to the news from NPR here