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Laurie Hertzel is senior editor for books at the Star Tribune, where she has worked since 1996.

Wednesday is Tracy K. Smith Day in Minnesota

Tracy K. Smith. Photo by Jason DeCrow—AP

Tracy K. Smith. Photo by Jason DeCrow, Associated Press

In a lovely proclamation, larded with "whereases" and shiny with his big gold seal, Gov.Mark Dayton has declared Wednesday, May 16, as Tracy K. Smith Day in MInnesota.

That is the day the U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet will speak at Talk of the Stacks at the Hennepin County Library on Nicollet Mall. (Free! 7 p.m. Tomorrow! You should go! But get there early--doors open at 6:15.)

The proclamation notes that "Tracy K. Smith's works have been published since 2003 by Minneapolis independent publisher Graywolf Press, one of Minnesota's award-winning publishers of diverse and singular voices; and Smith's newest book, "Wade in the Water," was published in April 2018 by Graywolf Press."

(Speaking of "Wade in the Water," here is a link to our review.)

Graywolf publisher Fiona McCrae said, in an exuberant press release, "That Tracy K. Smith is being recognized by the Governor in this way is a great thing for poetry in general, and for her wise, expansive, questioning poetry in particular. Graywolf is so proud to have published Tracy K. Smith's books of poetry, and have delighted in all her awards and honors, including the Pulitzer Prize. It is hard to think of a more perfect Poet Laureate for America at this challenging hour, and we are so grateful to the Minneapolis Public Library for hosting her visit to the Twin Cities."

Mpls writer Lesley Nneka Arimah a MacDowell fellow--again

Lesley Nneka Arimah, photo by Tom Wallace/Star Tribune

Lesley Nneka Arimah, photo by Tom Wallace/Star Tribune

Minneapolis writer Lesley Nneka Arimah joins newly-minted Pulitzer winner Andrew Scott Greer, novelist Jayne Anne Phillips, Caldecott medalist Brian Selznick, and 80 other artists, composers, writers, poets and architects in being named a MacDowell Fellow for 2018. (She was a MacDowell fellow in 2016, as well.)

The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., offers retreats for artists and writers of up to eight weeks. The fellows live in individual cabins and have their meals brought to them, giving them uninterrupted time to work.

This year's field of 84 winners was chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants.

Arimah just won the Minnesota Book Award for her debut collection of stories, "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky," which also won the Kirkus Prize.

Here are this year's MacDowell fellows:

  • Architects Zaneta Hong, Anthony Morey, Bryony Roberts, Maxi Spina, Hans Tursack, and Andrew Witt.
  • Composers Ingrid Arauco, Mark Dresser, Michael Fiday, Mikel Kuehn, Grace McLean, Laura Schwendinger, and Kate Soper.
  • Filmmakers Cecilia Aldarondo, Zia Anger, Kanu Behl, João Rui Guerra da Mata, Christopher Harris, Jenni Olson, João Pedro Rodrigues, Jonathan Schwartz, Fern Silva, J.P. Sniadecki, Julia Solomonoff, Brett Story, and Jennifer Taylor.
  • Interdisciplinary Artists Carmina Escobar, John Kelly, and Helina Metaferia.
  • Theatre Artists Rinde Eckert, Morgan Gould, Blake Hackler, Sukari Jones, Cordelia Lynn, Ellen McLaughlin, Brian Selznick, Rebecca Taichman, and James Tyler. 
  • Visual Artists Nayland Blake, Julia Bland, Dawn Clements, Liz Collins, Adriana Farmiga, Annette Lawrence, Tod Lippy, Mary Lum, Tanya Marcuse, Kambui Olujimi, Clifford Owens, and Michael Stamm.
  • Poets Dexter Booth, Jesús Castillo, Eduardo Corral, Peter Gizzi, Solmaz Sharif, Kara Wang, and Monica Youn.
  • Nonfiction Writers Philip Clark, Katrina Dodson, Wil Hylton, David Johnson, Pamela Newkirk, Ricardo Nuila, Mimi Pond, Lauren Sandler, Jia Tolentino, Jenna Wortham, and Joshua Yaffa.
  • Fiction Writers Ayobami Adebayo, Lesley Arimah, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Andrew Greer, Stephen Kuusisto, Magogodi Makhene, Marina Petrova, Jayne Anne Phillips, Nell Stevens, João Tordo, LaToya Watkins, David Weiden, Sophia Whiteley Yanow, Eley Williams, and Jung H Yun.

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