Since getting the job in 2017, Smith has been on a mission to take her poetry on the road, visiting rural areas where most writers aren't expected to go.
During a talk with Kerri Miller, she also explained why she believes poetry can be an antidote to our sometimes toxic civic culture.
Smith's new collection of poetry is called "Wade in the Water." She is also the author of "Ordinary Light: A Memoir."
Also, MPR's Tracy Mumford conducts a short interview with Samira Ahmed.
To listen to these discussions, click the audio player above.