Join 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate and Lewis Center Chair Tracy K. Smith as she discusses poetry, survival and our pandemic reality with renowned poets Jericho Brown and Danez Smith (2020-22 Princeton Arts Fellow).

This highlighted Wintersession event will feature poetry readings by Jericho Brown, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in poetry; and award-winning poet, performer, and current Princeton Arts Fellow Danez Smith. Professor Smith will moderate a conversation on art, America, and the feelings and determinations arising from this complicated moment. An interactive audience Q&A will conclude the evening.


This virtual event is free and open to the Princeton University community. Registration required.



To request accommodations for this event, please contact Leanna Jahnke ( in the Office of Wintersession and Campus Engagement at least 3 working days prior to the event.


Sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Office of Wintersession and Campus Engagement.



smith big smile in black sweater

Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths

TRACY K. SMITH is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University, and Chair of Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Her most recent poetry collection, Wade in the Water, won the 2019 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize. My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems of Yi Lei, which she co-translated from the Chinese, has been longlisted for the 2021 PEN Poetry in Translation award.



jericho with long black hair, smiling with head tilted

Photo by John Lucas / courtesy Blue Flower Arts

JERICHO BROWN is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.


danez in green shirt smiling

Photo courtesy Danez Smith

DANEZ SMITH is a Black, Queer, Poz writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. Smith is the author of Homie (Graywolf Press, 2020), longlisted for the 2020 PEN/VOELCKER Award for Poetry Collection; Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award; and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Smith’s work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, the 2020 Pushcart Prize Anthology, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.

Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Office of Wintersession