Spring 2018

Past Events

April 03, 2018


The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027


April 3, 2018

NourbeSe Philip (Left) Image credit: © Angelyn Francis Tracy K. Smith '97 (Right) Image credit: © Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Tobago-born Canadian poet M. NourbeSe Philip read with US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith '97


NourbeSe Philip is a Tobago-born poet, novelist, short story-writer and essayist who lives in Toronto. Her books of poetry include Thorns; Salmon CourageShe Tries Her TongueHer Silence Softly Breaks, winner of the Casa de las Américas Prize for Literature; and Zong!, a poem cycle based on a legal decision regarding the mass killing of 133 slaves aboard a British slave ship in 1781. Philip’s prose includes two novels, Harriet’s Daughter and Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence, as well as well as several collections of essays, including Frontiers: Essays and Writings on Racism and CultureA Genealogy of Resistance and Other Essays, and most recently, Blank. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has received numerous honors and distinctions for her work, including grants and awards from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, a Tradewinds Collection Prize, and a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award.


In 2017, Tracy K. Smith was appointed the 22nd United States Poet Laureate. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015) and three books of poetry. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Duende won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. In 2014 the Academy of American Poets awarded Smith with the Academy Fellowship, awarded to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger S. Berlind '52 Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. Her next collection of poems, Wade in the Water, is forthcoming in 2018.


The Global Poets Series at Columbia University is a celebration through poetry of our diverse global community, and is a collaborative program sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, Columbia University School of the Arts, and the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia. The purpose of the Global Poets Series is to bring an American poet together with a poet from abroad to share their art with each other and the public. The artistic synchronicities are inevitably moving and provocative. Poets are the singers of our planet, artists who must be heard in the multiplicity of their perspectives. In this regard, poetry is ultimately peacemaking, and the Global Poets Series is a means to that end.


Co-presented by the Columbia University School of the Arts, International Students and Scholars Office and The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.


Books available for purchase by Book Culture.