The Body's QuestionBook - 2003
Winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for best first book by an African-American poet, this compelling collection of poems gathers together stories from the intersection of race, family, adulthood, and childhood in search of herself, concluding that "I was anyone I wanted to be." Original.
The debut collection by the Poet Laureate of the United States
* Winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize *
You are pure appetite. I am pure
Appetite. You are a phantom
In that far-off city where daylight
Climbs cathedral walls, stone by stolen stone.
--from "Self-Portrait as the Letter Y"
The Body's Question by Tracy K. Smith received the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet, selected by Kevin Young. Confronting loss, historical intersections with race and family, and the threshold between childhood and adulthood, Smith gathers courage and direction from the many disparate selves encountered in these poems, until, as she writes, "I was anyone I wanted to be."