Love is the animating force of the universe, and compassion is what we're here to embody.
US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith says her true self comes out in her work. Poetry, she says, helps her wrestle with dark, sometimes unresolvable questions. In this episode she reads new and old work that examines subjects like death, the afterlife, nature, and African American history. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir "Ordinary Light", and three books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Life on Mars:. Her book "Wade in the Water" is due out this spring. She was appointed the 22nd US Poet Laureate in 2017. She’s the first laureate appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.
Powerhouse literary couple Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz didn’t start their careers writing books. The two were war correspondents covering events like the Gulf War in the 1990s. In this episode, Brooks and Horwitz are onstage for a lecture series held by Aspen Words, the literary organization of The Aspen Institute.