[Unedited] Tracy K. Smith and Michael Kleber-Diggs with Krista Tippett


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The pandemic memoirs began almost immediately, and now comes another kind of offering — a searching look at the meaning of the racial catharsis to which the pandemic in some sense gave birth and voice and life. Tracy K. Smith co-edited the stunning book, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis, a collection of 40 pieces that span an array of BIPOC voices from Edwidge Danticat to Reginald Dwayne Betts, from Layli Long Soldier to Ross Gay to Julia Alvarez. Tracy and Michael Kleber-Diggs, who also contributed an essay, join Krista for a conversation that is quiet and fierce and wise. They reflect inward and outward, backwards and forwards, from inside the Black experience of this pivotal time to be alive.

Tracy K. Smith — is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University and the former Poet Laureate of the United States. Her poetry collections include Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Duende, and Wade in the Water. Her memoir is Ordinary Light. She’s the co-editor of the book, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis.

Michael Kleber-Diggs — teaches creative writing through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop and at colleges and high schools in Minnesota. He’s a contributor to the book, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis. His debut collection, Worldly Things, has been awarded the 2021 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize.

This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Tracy K. Smith and Michael Kleber-Diggs — ‘History is upon us... its hand against our back.’

Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.

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