Kathryn B. Tracy


Kathryn B. Tracy ’74 (Class of ’73) moved back to Northampton with her two daughters in 1996 when she joined the graduate school faculty at the UMass Amherst School of Public Health. She luckily happened upon the very first Poetry Center readings at Neilson Library, and has been an inveterate fan ever since. Before returning to the valley, she lived in Syracuse, Washington D.C., and Saratoga Springs, earning her MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and her DrPH at Columbia University—public health having been the wonderful, lifelong legacy from Smith’s awesome emerita faculty member, Betty Robinton. Kathryn now works at UConn Storrs, developing doctoral programs for the Center for Public Health and Health Policy. She humbly submits this poem, considering her daughters to be the real writers in the family: Sarah (Wesleyan ’10) won a Smith Poetry Center award as a high school student at Stoneleigh-Burnham School, while Kristen experiences beauty and writes eloquently about it on the Big Island of Hawaii.



Kathryn B. Tracy '73



Barely moving, barely
to no sound.

Not to be
heard again
the next dead hour
of the next dark night

before the first dream
of dawn
the pulse and

Quickens the blood,
before the accelerating hum
tests its voice, and
the city turns
—noises on—

Kathryn B. Tracy at Smith