Tracy K. Smith is the author of four collections of poetry, among them Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, and Wade in the Water, winner of the 2019 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award. While serving as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States, Smith edited the anthology American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time. With her original libretto for the opera "Castor and Patience," a collaboration with composer Gregory Spears, Smith takes up a portion of what has been described as the unfinished work of Reconstruction. Probing historical and ongoing obstacles to Black land ownership in the United States, "Castor and Patience" will premiere in Cincinnati in 2021. Smith began translating the poems of contemporary Chinese poet Yi Lei (1951-2018) in early 2014, with collaborator Changtai Bi. That work, which transpired in the US and China over the last years of Yi Lei's life, brought Smith into robust dialogue with one of China's most original and independent voices. My Name Will Grow Wide like a Tree: Selected Poems of Yi Lei, will be published by Graywolf Press in November 2020.