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Graywolf Press

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

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Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize

* Poet Laureate of the United States *
* A
New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice *
* A New Yorker, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year *

New poetry by the award-winning poet Tracy K. Smith, whose lyric brilliance and political impulses never falter (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

You lie there kicking like a baby, waiting for God himself
To lift you past the rungs of your crib. What
Would your life say if it could talk?
--from No Fly Zone


With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars imagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the discoveries, failures, and oddities of human existence. In these brilliant new poems, Tracy K. Smith envisions a sci-fi future sucked clean of any real dangers, contemplates the dark matter that keeps people both close and distant, and revisits the kitschy concepts like love and illness now relegated to the Museum of Obsolescence. These poems reveal the realities of life lived here, on the ground, where a daughter is imprisoned in the basement by her own father, where celebrities and pop stars walk among us, and where the poet herself loses her father, one of the engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. With this remarkable third collection, Smith establishes herself among the best poets of her generation.

Author: Tracy K. Smith
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Published: 05/10/2011
Pages: 75
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.31lbs
Size: 9.05h x 6.25w x 0.28d
ISBN: 9781555975845
Award: Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award - Nominee
Award: Pulitzer Prize - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal 05/15/2011 pg. 89
Publishers Weekly 03/21/2011
New Yorker (The) 08/08/2011 pg. 71
New York Times Book Review 08/28/2011 pg. 15
New York Times Book Review 09/04/2011 pg. 26
Publishers Weekly Best Books 11/07/2011 pg. 26
NY Times Notable Bks of Year 12/04/2011 pg. 25
New Yorker (The) 12/19/2011 pg. 139
Foreword 02/28/2011
Essence 10/01/2012 pg. 100
LJ Best Books of Year 12/01/2011 pg. 63
New York Times Book Review 11/03/2013 pg. 13

About the Author

Tracy K. Smith is the author of two previous poetry collections: Duende, winner of the James Laughlin Award, and The Body's Question, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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