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Winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Rebekah Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry and the Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry

“With equal parts art, attitude, and heart, Patricia Smith’s Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah braids together personal narrative and a collective cultural journey. In poems propelled by voice and verve, she moves through the urbanscapes of Chicago and Detroit—conjuring first love and Motown with equal fervor. Her poems simultaneously zip along the textured surface of these worlds and plunge to the soul-depths of the people who inhabit them. And we, her spellbound audience, follow in her sonic wake, grateful to be part of stories so alive with detail and urgent with anguish and purpose.”   — Gregory Orr, judge, 2014 Lenore Marshall Prize

Praise foR

Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah

— Mark Doty

“Here is one of our essential poets at the top of her form, bristling with energy and fire, praise and outrage. There’s no one like Patricia Smith, and her bold, necessary poems light up the American twentieth century in all its song and sorrow.”

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