Patricia Smith, Pushcart Prize winner and four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, read her works at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in UALR’s Fine Arts Building. Smith is the author of six books of poetry. Her books include “Blood Dazzler” that chronicled the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. It also became one of National Public Radio’s top five books of 2008. She also wrote “Teahouse of the Almighty,” a National Poetry Series selection, and “Shoulda Been Jimmie Savannah,” which is due for release spring 2012. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House, and both Best American Poetry 2011 and Best American Essays 2011. Smith has read her work at venues around the world, including the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam’s Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival, and on tour in Germany, Austria, and Holland.
In the U.S., she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Bumbershoot, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and St. Mark’s Poetry Project. She has shared the stage with noted writers such as Adrienne Rich, Sharon Olds, Rita Dove, Joyce Carol Oates, Allen Ginsberg, Walter Mosley, Gwendolyn Brooks, Billy Collins, Galway Kinnell, and “Lord of the Rings” star Viggo Mortensen.
Smith is a professor of English at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island, and she is also a faculty member of both Cave Canem, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit home for black poets, and Sierra Nevada College.
The reading was sponsored by UALR’s William G. Cooper Jr. Honors Program in English.