In minute-by-minute detail, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina as it transforms into a full-blown mistress of destruction. From August 23, 2005, the day Tropical Depression Twelve developed, through August 28 when it became a Category Five storm with its “scarlet glare fixed on the trembling crescent,” to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems evoke the horror that unfolded in New Orleans as America watched it on television.
Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. Bernard Parish and recalls the day after their deaths when George W. Bush accompanied country singer Mark Willis on guitar:
The cowboy grins through the terrible din,
And in the Ninth, a choking woman wails
Look like this country done left us for dead.
“Smith’s poems are captivating and their heartrending subject matter adds to their allure. She is observant and precise; she captures a moment in our history that many will never forget, but also a moment that just as many will never begin to know. Blood Dazzler makes available to its readers a chilling time in America and crystallizes the nation’s fears and weaknesses.” —Coldfront
Winner, 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
Winner, 2018 BCALA Best Poetry Award
Winner, 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Winner, Abel Meeropol Award for Social Justice
Finalist, Neustadt International Prize for Literature
Finalist, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
One of the most magnetic and esteemed poets in today’s literary landscape, Patricia Smith fearlessly confronts the tyranny against the black male body and the tenacious grief of mothers in her compelling new collection, Incendiary Art. She writes an exhaustive lament for mothers of the "dark magicians," and revisits the devastating murder of Emmett Till. These dynamic sequences serve as a backdrop for present-day racial calamities and calls for resistance. Smith embraces elaborate and eloquent language— "her gorgeous fallen son a horrid hidden / rot. Her tiny hand starts crushing roses—one by one / by one she wrecks the casket’s spray. It’s how she / mourns—a mother, still, despite the roar of thorns"— as she sharpens her unerring focus on incidents of national mayhem and mourning. Smith envisions, reenvisions, and ultimately reinvents the role of witness with an incendiary fusion of forms, including prose poems, ghazals, sestinas, and sonnets. With poems impossible to turn away from, one of America’s most electrifying writers reveals what is frightening, and what is revelatory, about history.
Finalist for 2013 William Carlos Williams Award
"Patricia Smith is writing some of the best poetry in America today. Ms Smith’s new book, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, is just beautiful—and like the America she embodies and represents—dangerously beautiful. Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah is a stunning and transcendent work of art, despite, and perhaps because of, its pain. This book shines." —Sapphire
"One of the best poets around and has been for a long time." —Terrance Hayes
"Smith's work is direct, colloquial, inclusive, adventuresome." —Gwendolyn Brooks
In her newest collection, Patricia Smith explores the second wave of the Great Migration. Shifting from spoken word to free verse to traditional forms, she reveals "that soul beneath the vinyl."
Patricia Smith is the author of five volumes of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. She lives in New Jersey.
A National Poetry Series winner, chosen by Edward Sanders.
“What power. Smith’s poetry is all poetry. And visceral. Her poems get under the skin of their subjects. Their passion and empathy, their real worldliness, are blockbuster.”—Marvin Bell
“I was weeping for the beauty of poetry when I reached the end of the final poem.”—Edward Sanders, National Poetry Series judge
From Lollapalooza to Carnegie Hall, Patricia Smith has taken the stage as this nation’s premier performance poet. Featured in the film Slamnation and on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, Smith is back with her first book in over a decade—a National Poetry Series winner weaving passionate, bluesy narratives into an empowering, finely tuned cele-bration of poetry’s liberating power.
Staten Island may be New York City’s forgotten borough, but it ranks high up on the list of places known for organized crime. If that wasn’t enough to boost its noir reputation, there are its haunted mansion, hate crimes, and Cropsey urban legend. Dark deeds will always find a home on this side of the Verrazano bridge, and they give Staten Island a character all its own.
Staten Island Noir includes editor Patricia Smith’s Robert L. Fish Memorial Award–winning short story, “When They Are Done with Us,” which was also selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2013. You’ll find more tales by Bill Loehfelm, S.J. Rozan, Ted Anthony, Todd Craig, Ashley Dawson, Bruce DeSilva, Louisa Ermelino, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Michael Largo, Mike Penncavage, Linda Nieves-Powell, Shay Youngblood, and Eddie Joyce.
“It’s not enough for noir to be dark. It’s got to be bad-ass. Its words, its decaying and horrible beauty have got to hit you like a spiked heel dragged from your guts to your gullet. It’s got to twist the hot knife of passion in that soft space right below your belly while pumping bullets into your heart. It’s got to make you bleed . . . Staten Island Noir features some dusky and drop-dead gorgeous gems (emphasis on the dead) that do just that.” —Grub Street Daily
“[An] exceptionally strong anthology.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Feminism lacks both a constitutional theory as well as a clearly defined theory of political legitimacy within the framework of democracy. The scholars included here take significant and crucial steps toward these theories. In addition to constitutional issues such as federalism, gender discrimination, basic rights, privacy, and abortion, Women and the U.S. Constitution explores other issues of central concern to contemporary women—areas that, strictly speaking, are not yet considered a part of constitutional law. Women's traditional labor and its unique character, and women and the welfare state, are two examples of topics treated here from the perspective of their potentially transformative role in the future development of constitutional law.
Down to the River is a collection of twenty crimes stories that take place on or near American rivers from some of the strongest voices in crime fiction writing today. As these stories show, rivers are not only sources of life; they can also be scenes of murder and revenge.
All twenty stories have been generously donated by the writers to show their support for American Rivers, an organization that truly understands America would not be America were it not for our amazing rivers and waterways. The authors and American Rivers believe that rivers connect all of us as Americans and need to be protected and preserved for future generations.
Edited by Tim O’Mara with an introduction by Hank Phillippi Ryan and stories by Reed Farrel Coleman, Bruce DeSilva, Patricia Smith, and more.