Patricia Smith – poet, playwright and performance artist – will recite some of her latest poetry when she appears Thursday, April 25 at Cal State East Bay as a featured reader of the Distinguished Writers Series presented by the university’s English Department.
The 7 p.m. event will be held in the Biella Room of the University Library on CSUEB's Hayward Campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Admission is free, and the public is invited. A book signing and question and answer session will follow.
Smith has published six books of poetry, including “Blood Dazzler,” a National Book Award finalist, and “Teahouse of the Almighty,” a National Poetry series winner.
The Chicago native is a four-time National Poetry Slam individual champion. A poetry slam is a fast-paced competition where poets – using the techniques of storytelling, songwriting, theatre and stand-up comedy – have a limited amount of time to impress judges randomly selected from among the event’s audience.
Smith has performed her work on many international stages and on film, CDs, and in the HBO series Def Poetry Jam. Her work has received two Pushcart Prizes and been published in numerous literary journals, including Poetry, Tin House, The Paris Review and Granta.
"Patricia Smith is a poet equally at home on the page and on the stage,” said Susan Gubernat, English professor and director of the Distinguished Writers Series for 2012-13. “We're fortunate to celebrate April, National Poetry Month, with a reading by one of the nation's foremost writers and performance artists."
Smith is a professor of English at City University of New York and a faculty member of the Sierra Nevada MFA program and Cave Canem Foundation.
Before Smith begins her presentation, the three top prize winners of the university’s eighth annual Helen “Jackie” DeClercq Poetry Contest will read their winning poems. First prize of $250 went to Gabrielle Brown-Wing of Oakland, followed by second prize ($100) winner Samantha Kennedy of Livermore, and third prize ($50) winner Britney Hill of Oakland.
CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor in advance at (510) 885-3151 if accommodation is needed. Campus parking is $2 per hour – payable at kiosk machines located in campus parking lots.