Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILDREN Fiction Poetry

Born: 1955 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Smith was born and raised in Chicago. She attended Southern Illinois University and Northwestern University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Patricia Smith is an author, journalist and poet. She is four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular National Poetry Slam. A professor for the City University of New York and a Cave Canem faculty member, she lives in New Jersey.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- "Teahouse of the Almighty"

-- *National Poetry Series Selection, 2005

-- *Paterson Poetry Prize, 2007

-- *Best poetry book, 2006


-- "Janna and the Kings"

-- *Lee & Low Books New Voices Award


-- "The Way Pilots Walk" (poem)

-- *Pushcart Prize


-- "Big Towns, Big Talk"

-- *Carl Sandburg Literary Award

-- *Finalist, Pulitzer Prize, 1998


-- "Incendiary Art"

-- *Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, 2018

-- *NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in the Poetry

-- *Finalist, Neustadt International Prize for Literature

-- *Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 2018

-- *Los Angeles Times Book Prize, 2017

-- *BCALA Best Poetry Award, 2018

-- *Abel Meeropol Award for Social Justice

-- * Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, 2021


-- "Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah"

-- *Lenore Marshall Prize, Academy of American Poets

-- *Wheatley Book Award in Poetry, 2013

-- *Finalist, William Carlos Williams Award, 2013

-- *Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, 2014


-- "Blood Dazzler"

-- *Nominated, National Book Award


-- "Body of Work"

-- *International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, 2006

-- *Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Poetry Foundation, 2021

-- *Four-time individual champion, National Poetry Slam

-- *Women in Communications Award

-- *Sigma Delta Chi Award

-- *United Press International Award