The Body's Question: Poems (Paperback)


By Tracy K. Smith, Kevin Young

Graywolf Press, 9781555973919, 72pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2003



Winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, "The Body's Question" debuts Tracy K. Smith's ambitious and engaging new voice

"You are pure appetite. I am pure"
"Appetite. You are a phantom"
"In that far-off city where daylight"
"Climbs cathedral walls, stone by stolen stone."
--from "Self-Portrait as the Letter Y"

"The Body's Question" by Tracy K. Smith received the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet, selected by Kevin Young. Confronting loss, historical intersections with race and family, and the threshold between childhood and adulthood, Smith gathers courage and direction from the many disparate selves encountered in these poems, until, as she writes, "I was anyone I wanted to be.

About the Author

Tracy K. Smith received degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. She currently lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For The Body's Question: Poems

"How delightful it is to fall under the lucid and quite more than lovely spell of Tracy K. Smith's debut collection. Smith's work is deceptively plain-spoken, but these are poems that are powerfully wrought, inspiring in all the clarity of their many gospel truths. The Body's Question announces a remarkable new voice, brilliantly bundled, ingeniously belted down."
--Lucie Brock-Broido