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Patricia Smith-DeSilva

Full Professor

Patricia Smith (Smith-DeSilva) is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, a collaboration ion with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, and Life According to Motown; the children's book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was featured in the anthology Best American Mystery Stories.

Smith has collaborated with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Angela’s Pulse Dance Troupe, the Sage String Quartet and singer Meshell Ndegeocello; “Blood Dazzler,” a dance/theater production based on her 2008 book, sold out a two-week run at the Harlem Stage under theguidance of award-winning director Patricia McGregor; her one-woman show “Life After Motown,” produced by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, was performed in residency at the Trinidad Theater Workshop. Her work has taken her to every one of the 50 states, as well as to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Smith is a Guggenheim fellow, finalist for the Neustadt Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, a former fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo and MacDowell, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. In addition to her work as a professor at the College of Staten Island--where she teaches poetry, fiction and African-American literature--Smith mentors students in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, and conducts writing workshops for Cave Canem (a residency program for African-American writers) and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Writing Program.



Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Stonecoast, Univ. of Southern Maine

Scholarship and Publications

Incendiary Art--Winner Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, LA Times Book Prize, NAACP Image Award, finalist Pulitzer Prize and Neustadt Prize for International Literature
Gotta Go, Gotta Flow--2017
Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah -- 2013, winner Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets
Blood Dazzler--2008, National Book Award Finalist
Teahouse of the Almighty--2006, winner, National Poetry Series 
Close to Death--2003
Big Towns, Big Talk--2002
Life According to Motown--2001

BOOK EDITED: Staten Island Noir--2012

CHILDREN’S BOOK: Janna and the Kings--2003, New Voices Award Winner

NON-FICTION BOOK: Africans in America: America’s Journey From Slavery--1998

Contact Information

Office: Building 2S Room 234
Fax: 718.982.3643
Office Hours

Fri, 9-10 am