||Patricia’s latest book, Gotta Go, Gotta
Flow, is a collaboration with celebrated Chicago photographer
Michael Abramson. Her poetry accompanies his pictures
taken in the city’s 1970s blues/dance clubs,
such as Pepper’s Hideout, Perv’s House,
the High Chaparral, the Patio Lounge, and the Showcase
Lounge. In her review for Booklist, Donna Seaman called
Gotta Go “A supremely arresting and affecting
match of potent images and singing words.”
previous volume of poems, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah,
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). It was 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
In Savannah, Patricia 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
Patricia’s work is featured in Best American
Poetry and Best American
Essays. Her contribution to the anthology
Staten Island Noir, which she also edited, won a Robert
L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America and
was showcased in Best American Mystery Stories. Other
honors include the National Poetry Series, two Pushcart
Prizes and coveted MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships.
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.