Last week, Tracy K. Smith won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her collection Life on Mars. I actually just finished reading these poems a month or so ago, and can say with absolute certainty that Smith deserves this recognition. The book is personal and elegiac but also politically and socially engaged without being preachy, formally stylized without being stuffy, musical and image-heavy. A thought-provoking but flowing, well-paced read.
If this were a fiction blog, I’d shame the Pulitzer committee for its unprecedented move of not selecting a winner from the 300+ books screened for consideration. As it is, I’ll just say that I read quite a few remarkable short story collections and novels published last year…
So, congrats to Tracy K. Smith, and to Graywolf Press, which published the collection, and from which you should purchase your copy today.
Have you read Life on Mars? What other poetry books from last year do you feel are Pulitzer-worthy?