An Evening With Patricia Smith
Patricia Smith’s roots in poetry trace to a blues club in Chicago, where she took the stage “hoping that I had something to say that might reach someone in the audience.”
She has done that with distinction over a career that has produced eight books of poetry, including her 2017 collection Incendiary Art, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It also earned the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry, and an NAACP Image Award. Smith is the most successful participant in the history of the National Poetry Slam, winning the individual competition four times.
Last September, she was awarded the Poetry Foundation’s prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for “lifetime accomplishments warrant(ing) extraordinary recognition.”
In conjunction with her visit as the Cockefair Writer in Residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Smith reads a selection of her works and briefly discusses her craft and career. She teaches poetry, fiction, and African American literature as a professor at the College of Staten Island, part of the City University of New York system.
The event is co-presented by the Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair at UMKC.