2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
2018 NAACP Image Award
Finalist 2018 Pulitzer Prize
Finalist Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Incendiary Art confronts the tyranny against the black male body and the tenacious grief of the mothers of murdered African American men. Dynamic sequences, including a compelling chronicle of the devastating murder of Emmett Till, serve as a backdrop for present-day racial calamities and calls for resistance. With impassioned eloquence and a sharpened focus on incidents of national mayhem and mourning, Patricia Smith reinvents the role of witness with an incendiary fusion of forms, including prose poems, ghazals, sestinas, and sonnets. This phenomenal, visionary book addresses what is frightening, and what is revelatory, about history now.
‘Incendiary Art is the fire this time. An epic in five movements where history becomes tragedy, becomes farce, becomes fable. Where the reader becomes complicit, where outcomes burn into forgotten memories, and where nobody gets off the hook.’ – Marlon James
‘As with Smith’s previous books, one encounters an urgent voice on the page that is exuberant, sharp, and questing in its search for understanding of the fatalities that besiege black life in America. The imaginative qualities of these poems and others are what make them captivating. She is a poet of immense originality, and these poems are a testament to her powers.’ – Major Jackson
‘Patricia Smith is a masterful poet, performer, and pundit. And while her chosen field is the form and grace of language, her gift to the world that orbits the Black experience is truth.’ – Walter Mosley
‘Patricia is one of the poets writing today that I most deeply admire. Her work is always timely, powerful, necessary, and at turns heartbreaking.’ – Natasha Trethewey
‘Smith exhibits razor-sharp linguistic sensibilities that give her scenes a cinematic flair and her lines a momentum that buoys their emotional weight. Smith’s urgent collection lives up to its title, burning bright and urgent as a bonfire.’ – Publishers Weekly
Patricia Smith live at Newcastle Poetry Festival
Patricia Smith reads a selection of her poems at Newcastle Poetry Festival in May 2017, from Incendiary Art, Blood Dazzler and Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah.
Patricia Smith: Incendiary Art
Patricia Smith reads from Incendiary Art at NYU Florence in 2017.
Patricia Smith: All Purpose Product
Patricia Smith reads ‘All Purpose Product’ from Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah at the 2016 Get Lit Classic Slam.
Patricia Smith live at the Loft
Patricia Smith reads a selection of her poems at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis in 2012, mainly from Blood Dazzler, chronicling the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, and from Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah.
North America: Triquarterly (Northwestern University Press)