BEEN JIMI SAVANNAH: WINNER OF THE 2014 REBEKAH BOBBITT
PRIZE from the Library of Congress (for the most distinguished
book of poetry published in the the previous two years)
and The Academy of American Poets 2013 LENORE MARSHALL
POETRY PRIZE (for the most outstanding book of poetry
published in the previous year).
In Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, which was also a winner
of the Phillis Wheatley Award in Poetry and finalist
for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry
Society of America and the Balcones Prize, 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 the Books page.
Patricia’s work is featured in
the 2011 editions of both Best American Poetry and Best
Her contribution to the anthology Staten
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 honors
include the National Poetry Series, two Pushcart Prizes
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
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.