I am astonished at their mouthful names–
Lakinishia, Fumilayo, Chevallanie, Delayo–
their ragged rebellions and lip-glossed pouts,
and all those pants drooped as drapery.
I rejoice when they kiss my face, whisper wet
and urgent in my ear, make me their obsession
because I have brought them poetry.
—from Patricia Smith’s “Building Nicole’s Mama”
Join us for a special evening with Patricia Smith, one of the most celebrated spoken word poets of our time. This event will be emceed by Kevin Coval andfeature some of Chi-town’s visionary voices.
Reservations are recommended and can be made through the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at 312.413.5353.
Patricia Smith is a four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular National Poetry Slam, an energized competition where poets are judged on the content and performance of their work. No one else has won the title more than twice. Recognized as one of the world’s most formidable performers, she was featured in the nationally-released film, Slamnation, and appeared on the award-winning HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” Smith has read her work at venues around the world, including the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam’s Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival and on tour in Germany, Austria and Holland. Her latest poetry book, Teahouse of the Almighty (Coffee House Press), was chosen by Edward Sanders as a 2005 National Poetry Series winner, and was also awarded the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. She is also the author of three previous books of poetry: Close to Death (Zoland Books), Big Towns, Big Talk (Zoland Books), and Life According to Motown (Tia Chucha). Smith is currently at work on Fixed on a Furious Star, a biography of Harriet Tubman. Previously she authored Africans in America (Harcourt Brace), a companion volume to the groundbreaking four-part PBS history series.
Join us as Patricia Smith reads in the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum’s historic Residents’ Dining Hall, a space that has a rich tradition of hosting writers such as Gertrude Stein, Carl Sandburg, Willard Motley, and Upton Sinclair.
This Artists, Activists, and Authors After Hours (AAAH) event is co-sponsored by The Public Square at the IHC, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the UIC College of Education, and the Departments of African-American Studies and English at UIC.
Events in the AAAH program series are intimate, informal discussions that allow for meaningful exchanges among people who share some connection to the work of a visiting artist. Since coalition building is one of the cornerstones of social change, AAAH programs are structured to give individuals a chance to meet others engaged in similar struggles and projects.