Born in 1955, Patricia Smith is a poet, teacher, performance artist and author. She is the author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012), as well as Blood Dazzler (2008); Teahouse of the Almighty (2006), a 2005 National Poetry Series selection; Close to Death (1993); Big Towns, Big Talk (1992), which won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award; and Life According to Motown (1991).
Her poems have been published in many anthologies, including American Voices (2005), The Spoken Word Revolution (2003), and Bum Rush the Page (2003.) She is also the author of a history book, Africans in America (1998), along with a children’s book, Janna and the Kings (2003). She is currently working on Fixed on a Furious Star, a biography of Harriet Tubman.
A four-time individual champion on the National Poetry Slam, Smith has also been a featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and has performed her work around the world. She has written and performed two one-woman plays, one of which was produced by Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theater Workshop. She is a Cave Canem faculty member and has served as the Bruce McEver Chair in Writing at Georgia Tech University.