Smith has been praised for her command of language and emotions.
AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
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Tracy K. Smith, the United States' new poet laureate, would like to start a conversation.Smith, who succeeds Juan Felipe Herrera, won the Pulitzer in 2012 for her poetry collection "Life on Mars" and was a National Book Award finalist for nonfiction three years later for her memoir "Ordinary Light".The job's official title is the lofty "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry," with a more grounded stipend of $35,000 .Smith's goals at this point are to use poetry as a bridge for people of different backgrounds and viewpoints.Smith's suggestions included "The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton" and Solmaz Sharif's "Look," praised by Smith for calling "attention to the ways that official language has been employed in ways designed to deaden it [and us] of human feeling".During her recent interview, Smith said she didn't see her new job as a "platform" for her own politics and called the laureate's job "beautifully remote from any kind of political obligation".
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