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Tracy K. Smith Visits Stuart Country Day School

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Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, the girls’ independent day school in Princeton, is proud to announce that Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Tracy K. Smith will be the featured author at the school’s eighth annual Lies, Light, McCarthy Visiting Author Program, April 14-15, 2016. 

This event is free of charge. Seats may be reserved at

“Tracy K. Smith’s work is lauded for combining science, faith and art which fits beautifully into how we educate our girls here at Stuart,” said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, Head of School. “We are delighted to bring such an incredibly gifted and inspiring writer to campus to spend the day mentoring our girls and speaking to the greater community.”

Ms. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015) and three books of poetry. Her most recent collection of poems, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007) won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question (2003) was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Ms. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. In 2014 the Academy of American Poets awarded her with the Academy Fellowship, awarded to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement.

After completing her undergraduate work at Harvard University, Ms. Smith earned her MFA at Columbia University before going on to be a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University from 1997 to 1999. She has taught at Columbia, City University of New York, and the University of Pittsburgh, and is currently the Director of Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program. She lives in Princeton.

As part of the Visiting Author Program at Stuart, students, faculty and staff have been reading and studying Ms. Smith’s work, and Senior Scholars have worked with Lower and Middle School girls in preparation for her visit. In addition to the public reading on April 14, Ms. Smith will spend the day on campus on Friday, April 15. She will meet with students of all ages at Stuart to share her expertise on the craft of writing; she will spend time with each division separately, including the kindergarten – grade 4 Lower School girls, Middle School grades 5-8, and Upper School grades 9-12. She will also spend time with faculty and have lunch with the Stuart Senior Scholars.

About Stuart’s Visiting Author Program: 

The Lies, Light, McCarthy Visiting Author Program is an annual event that brings current prominent authors to Stuart who will share their knowledge and experiences with the students in Kindergarten – Grade 12. The Visiting Author Program was the dream of a former English department head and Stuart alumna, Victoria McCarthy ’71.  A fund was established after her death that is named for three former English Department heads:  Betty Lies, Nancy Light and Victoria McCarthy. Past Visiting Authors include Pulitzer Prize recipients as well as best-selling and award-winning authors: Poet Paul Muldoon (2009), novelist Jonathan Safran Foer (2010), author Jhumpa Lahiri (2011), poet Naomi Shihab Nye (2012), novelist Edwidge Danticat (2013), poet Jane Hirshfield (2014), and author Mark Salzman (2015). The program is funded by the school’s annual Poetry in Motion 5K Run to be held this year on April 30, 2016. Visit to sponsor and register for the run.

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