We at the Poetry Society congratulate Tracy K. Smith, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection, Life on Mars. Tracy is pictured here with Yusef Komunyakaa (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize that same year for his collection, Neon Vernacular.)
The photograph was taken by Lawrence Schwartzwald in the green room of the Great Hall at Cooper Union on February 8, 2011, on the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of Elizabeth Bishop, which took place on her actual birthday.
When the roster of Pulitzer Prizes was established in 1917, there was no award designated for poetry. It was the Poetry Society of America's President, Edward J. Wheeler, who found a New York City patron of art to donate $500 to establish the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The PSA handled the administration of the award for several years until the Pulitzer Committee took it over.
Hurray for Edward J. Wheeler, Yusef Komunyakaa, Elizabeth Bishop, and Tracy K. Smith!