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Music To Love

Smithies Create

Kara Jackson ’23 has released a debut album that weaves a country/folk tapestry of sorrow and joy


Published June 26, 2023

Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love? is dedicated to a friend of Jackson’s who died of cancer when they were both in high school. Jackson wrote and recorded the demos for her 13-track album in her childhood home in Oak Park, Illinois, during the first months of the pandemic lockdown. The finished LP transfers her strengths as a poet and storyteller to music—to rave reviews.

“Mournful, Joyful, Unapologetic,” read a headline in Pitchfork magazine. “Biting and tender,” noted poet Hanif Abdurraqib in his review in The New Yorker. How does Jackson—a former National Youth Poet Laureate and dedicated follower of Black, queer women’s writing—describe her work? She centers delight. “At the end of the day you just have to do things that make you feel very joyful,” Jackson told Pitchfork. “And guitar-ass music just makes me feel very joyful.”

Why Does The Earth Give Us People to Love?
Kara Jackson ’23
September Recordings, April 2023

This story appears as part of the Smithies Create column in the Summer 2023 issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Kara Jackson ’23’s debut album has received rave reviews. Photograph by Lawrence Agyei