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Announcing “The Slowdown” with Tracy K. Smith

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U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith in New Mexico for “American Conversations: Celebrating Poems in Rural Communities” in January 2018. Photo by Shawn Miller.

With her “American Conversations” project in full swing, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith is keeping busy on the road—she kicked off the tour in rural Alaska at the end of August, and today she will travel to communities in South Dakota. In the coming weeks, we’ll announce public events for her remaining fall trips to Maine (November 1-2) and Louisiana (December 14-15).

Today, we’re very excited to announce another groundbreaking project our poet laureate has taken on: “The Slowdown,” a weekday podcast and radio program. The show will address, as Tracy puts it, “the very real and natural ways that poems speak to the daily experience of being alive.” For five minutes each weekday, she will read poems by American writers and explore how poetry helps us slow down, observe and think more deeply, and better understand each other and our world.

You can listen to the show via podcast platforms on November 26, and on public radio stations across the country beginning in January 2019. In the meantime, make sure to subscribe and listen to a trailer of the show!

“I’m excited to continue the work I’ve done as poet laureate in celebrating poems and the conversations they foster,” Tracy said. “And thanks to technology’s ability to collapse the distance between people—to give you the feeling that there is one person out there speaking directly and only to you—geography is no longer a barrier to participation.”

“The Slowdown” is produced by American Public Media (APM), and made possible through funding by the Poetry Foundation and the support of the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center. Stay tuned for more details as the show’s launch approaches!

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