Tracy K. Smith (born April 16, 1972) is an African-American poet and educator. She has published three collections of poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize for a 2011 collection, Life on Mars.About this collection, Joel Brouwer wrote in 2011: “Smith shows herself to be a poet of extraordinary range and ambition. … As all the best poetry does, Life on Mars first sends us out into the magnificent chill of the imagination and then returns us to ourselves, both changed and consoled.”
Smith is a native of Falmouth, Massachusetts.She was raised in northern California in a family with “deep roots” in Alabama. She received her B.A. from Harvard University in 1994, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University in 1997. From 1997 to 1999 she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. She has taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University. In 2005 she joined the faculty of Princeton University, where she is professor of creative writing.