Library of Congress

National Book Festival

Patricia Smith's fifth book of poetry, Blood Dazzler chronicles the human, physical and emotional toll exacted by Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophic natural event with lasting spiritual and political impact. It was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. This volume is also the focal point of a new dance-theater collaboration between Smith and Urban Bush Women dancer Paloma McGregor. Smith is also the author of Teahouse of the Almighty (2006), a National Poetry Series winner, the Best Poetry Book of 2006 on About.com and a 2007 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and Paterson Poetry Prize winner; Close to Death (1998), Big Towns, Big Talk (2002) and Life According to Motown (1991). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, poemmemoirstory, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, the Chautauqua Literary Journal, TriQuarterly and other journals, and in many anthologies, most recently Gathering Ground, The Spoken Word Revolution, The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry and Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry. Her poem "The Way Pilots Walk" received a Pushcart Prize, and is featured in Pushcart Prize XXXII: Best of the Small Presses.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Patricia Smith

Photo by Peter Dressel