Smith first published her poems in 1972, the same year she co-wrote a play, Cowboy Mouth, with Sam Shepard. Since then she has published a number of collections of verse, including Babel (1978), Early Work, 1970–1979 (1994), The Coral Sea (1996), and Patti Smith Complete: Lyrics, Reflections & Notes for the Future (1998).
Smith writes in a stream-of-consciousness style, often meditating on questions of mortality and faith. Of her 2008 Auguries of Innocence, critic Donna Seaman wrote that Smith “presents lithe works unsettling in their spiritual inquiry, archetypal imagery, and dissonant juxtapositions.”
Hailed as the “godmother of punk” by the New York Times, Smith has a cultlike following. Her albums include Horses (1975), Radio Ethiopia (1976), Easter (1978), and Gone Again (1996). She has also been a contributor to the magazines Rolling Stone and Rock.
Audio & PodcastsAvant-Garde All the Time
What did Patti Smith, Frank O'Hara, and Meredith Monk Have in Common?
The John Giorno Poetry Systems
The Women of the Avant-Garde
Sound clips from Kathy Acker, Laurie Anderson, Caroline Bergvall, Denise Levertov, Lydia Lunch, Patti Smith, Eileen Myles, and many more.