her newest collection, Shoulda Been Jimi
(finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from
the Poetry Society of America), National Book Award
finalist Patricia Smith explores the second wave
of the Great Migration. From her parents’ move
from the South to Chicago, to being raised as an “up
North” child swayed by Motown, she captures
the rampant romanticism of waiting and hoping and
the dogged disappointment and damage of living under
a delusion. Employing a potent mixture of free verse
and both traditional and invented forms, she reveals “that
soul beneath the vinyl”. Purchase a copy on
Patricia’s work is featured in the 2011 editions
of both Best American Poetry and Best
Her contribution to the anthology Staten Island
which she also edited, won a Robert L. Fish Award from
the Mystery Writers of America and is upcoming in Best
American Mystery Stories 2013. Other include the National
Poetry Series, two Pushcart Prizes and coveted MacDowell
and Yaddo fellowships. In 2012, she was featured on the
cover of the 100th anniversary issue of Poetry.
groundbreaking book Blood Dazzler --
which chronicles the human, emotional and physical
Katrina -- was a finalist for the 2008 National Book
Award, and one of NPR’s Top Books of 2008. The
book was the basis for a thrilling dance/theater collaboration,
which sold out its performances at NYC’s Harlem
new ground, Patricia also edited and contributed
to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island
the latest in the wildly successful Noir series by
books include Teahouse of the Almighty, Close
to Death, Big Towns,
and Life According to
Motown, just released in a 20th anniversary edition.
She also penned the history book Africans
in America and the award-winning children’s book Janna
and the Kings.
With four National Poetry Slam individual
champions, Patricia is the most successful slammer
in the competition’s history--and arguably, the
world’s best spoken word performer. She’s
shared the stage with Pulitzer Prize winners, U.S.
poet laureates and notables including Gwendolyn Brooks,
Adrienne Rich, Terrance Hayes, Allen Ginsberg, Lucille
Clifton, Nikky Finney, W.S. Merwin and Stephen Dobyns,
ex-U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Ugly
Betty, Anna Deavere Smith, singer Marilyn Manson, former
Chicago mayor Richard Daley and “Lord of the
Rings” star Viggo Mortenson.
speaker, inspiring instructor and experience leader
of workshop and residencies, Patricia crafts innovative
classes in writing and performance for squirming
1st-graders, seasoned pros, soccer moms, prisoners,
surly preteens and college students. She now offers
intensive individualized instruction featuring manuscript
construction and consultation, as well as critique
of packets of individual poems.
There’s no one like Patricia Smith.
out what words can do. Let her change your life.