Programs The Slowdown

The Slowdown

The Democracy Test


Coming to public radio January 2019, The Slowdown encourages audiences to take five minutes out of their busy days to think deeply about the world around them. Hosted by U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, the weekday module will be welcomed by poetry readers – and introduce those new to the craft a broader and more diverse perspective than is commonly presented.

The tone of the show is reflective, inquisitive and thought-provoking. As Smith wrote, “Poems call our attention to moments when the ordinary nature of experience changes—when the things we think we know flare into brighter colors, starker contrasts, strange and intoxicating possibilities." Smith will serve as a knowing guide, elevating a diverse range of voices, and providing clarity in a chaotic world. The Slowdown will help busy-but-still-curious audiences better understand themselves and each other.

About the Program

The Slowdown is a public radio broadcast and podcast hosted by U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. The weekday, five-minute modules are produced by APM in partnership with The Poetry Foundation and the Library of Congress.


Tracy K. Smith
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Five minutes each weekday, with no station breaks.

Program Feeds

The Slowdown will be available to APM stations on ContentDepot starting January 14, 2019. Episodes will be available Monday-Friday from 00:00 ET - 23:59 ET. Daily rundowns will be posted one day prior.


Tracy Mumford

Broadcast Rights

The Slowdown is available to all American Public Media affiliate stations for broadcast. Stations must carry the program as fed, no excerpting. Stations may air the program from 00:00 ET - 23:59 ET on the day the episode is fed. Multiple repeats are allowed daily. See terms and conditions described in the American Public Media Service Agreement Prior to carrying this series, stations must confirm carriage with American Public Media.

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Promo Spots

0:15 and 0:30 generic promo spots will be available for the series via ContentDepot.

Need a custom promo spot? Please complete our form.


The Slowdown does not allow underwriting. On-air language will mention its partnership with the Library of Congress and The Poetry Foundation.

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Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith was born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California. She earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she held a Stegner fellowship at Stanford University. Smith is the author of four books of poetry: The Body's Question (2003), which won the Cave Canem prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essense Literary Award; Life on Mars (2011), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Wade in the Water (2018). In 2014 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets fellowship. She has also written a memoir, Ordinary Light (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction.

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