Tracy K. Smith & Thuli Zuma

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Curator’s comment from Taylor Mali: I love night’s like this one will be! Because we actually have a Pulitzer winner and a Grand Slam champion, and while not every pairing we construct delivers on the moniker “where the Pulitzer Prize meets the Poetry Slam,” this one does! Smith, who won the Pulitzer in 2012 for her book “Life on Mars,” is a veteran of Page Meets Stage.

TRACY K. SMITH is the author of three books of poetry. Her most recent collection, Life on Mars (Graywolf, 2011), won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. The collection draws on sources as disparate as Arthur C. Clarke and David Bowie, and is in part an elegiac tribute to her late father, an engineer who worked on the Hubble Telescope. Duende (2007) won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question (2003) 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. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012.

THULI ZUMA is a South African poet, actor and fine quality hugs purveyor. She has been proud to represent Urbana at the Women of the World Poetry Slam 2013 and the Individual World Poetry Slam 2012 where she took 2nd place. A teller of stories and drinker of gin Thuli endeavors to make an art of her living and a living of her art, she loves adventures, naps, the magic of words and the power of human relationships. Once, she kissed a dolphin on the mouth.