I ran across this a few days ago. Tracy was my thesis advisor at OSU.
His speech deeply affected me when I first read it, and I keep looking at bits of it each day before (and after) I write. Tracy managed to keep me focused, even during that second year, when writing seemed impossible. I was reminded of that when I was browsing in Third Place Books last weekend and saw his newest book, Hiding Man: a Biography of Donald Barthelme.
Finding this speech is a gift to me right now. He references a piece he read to the first MFA cohort, which I was a part of. It was that piece that introduced me to Beckett and to the notion of failing better.