Award-winning poet and spoken word artist Patricia Smith read her work for St. Petersburg College students at the St. Petersburg Gibbs Campus on April 3 in the Music Center.
Smith read her work as part of Communications Week, a celebration of the academic programs and careers within that field. Smith was introduced by Professor Sheree Greer, who talked about how Smith’s work inspired her.
Smith is the author of seven poetry collections and many anthologies. She has won four National Poetry Slams, and is a two-time Pushcart Prize winner. Smith read from her work, shared her experiences as a poet, answered questions, and held a book signing. She began her reading with a poem dedicated to the sixth grade class at a Dade County elementary school, one of the first places she read poetry on tour. From Motown to a very personal story of loss, the audience sat rapt as Smith read from her work.
After her reading she spoke with students about working as a poet, and answered questions. She talked about getting her start as a poet, what inspired her, and more. Smith took extra time to speak with students one-on-one before going to the lobby to sign books.