Saturday, November 15, 7-9 PM, the Mark Twain House (351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford). An exciting night of performance poetry featuring the electrifying Patricia Smith, with opening poet Connecticut’s own Elizabeth Thomas. Suggested donation $10.
Patricia Smith has been called a “testament to the power of words to change lives (Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise).” Her acclaimed body of work includes six books of poetry, most recently, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize-winning Shoulda Been Jimmi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012), praised by Sapphire as “a stunning and transcendent work of art.” In 2008, National Public Radio named Smith’s Blood Dazzler one of its top five books of the year, calling it “a ﬁerce, blood-in-the-mouth collection (John Freeman).” Additional honors include a 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Carl Sandburg Award and induction into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. A four-time individual champion on the National Poetry Slam, Smith has performed around the world and been a featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. She is a professor of English at CUNY/College of Staten Island and serves on the faculties of Cave Canem Foundation and the Sierra Nevada MFA program.
Elizabeth Thomas is a published poet, performer, and educator. The author of two poetry collections and a book on writing, she has read her work throughout the United States and in 2009 taught “Poetry as Theater” in the United Arab Emirates. Much of her energy and time is devoted to designing and teaching writing programs for all ages. These programs promote literacy and the power of written and spoken word. As an outstanding advocate of youth in the arts, Elizabeth Thomas is a coach and organizer with Brave New Voices: International Youth Poetry Slam and Festival. She believes poetry is meant to be heard out loud and in person. She hosts a blog at www.stillwriting2.wordpress.com.