Episode 34

Tracy K. Smith, Declaration


December 7th, 2021

23 mins 10 secs

Season 3

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About this Episode

In this episode, we discuss erasure poetry and its power to reveal hidden histories and redacted stories through Tracy K. Smith's erasure of the Declaration of Independence.

For the poem (including a reading and discussion of the poem by Tracy Smith), see the Poetry Foundation.

For Solmaz Sharif's discussion of the political implications of erasure poetry, see "The Near Transitive Properties of the Political and Poetical: Erasure": https://thevolta.org/ewc28-ssharif-p1.html

See also "Erasure in Three Acts" by Muriel Leung.

For more on Tracy K. Smith, see The Library of Congress.

For a look at the various drafts of the Declaration of Independence, visit this page on the Library of Congress website: https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/jeffdec.html

Thanks to Graywolf Press for granting us permission to read this poem, which appears in Wade in the Water (2018).

Thanks to Harvard University and photographer Stephanie Mitchell for granting us permission to reproduce Tracy Smith's photo.

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