Patricia Smith, acclaimed poet, featured artist for the Nebraska Writer’s Collective


By Ali Hodge, Layout Manager


She’s been called “a testament to the power of words to change lives.” She’s won a long list of awards, including the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets for her book of poetry, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012) and was a National Book Award finalist for Blood Dazzler (2008). Now, she’s coming to Omaha on Nov. 16th.

Acclaimed poet Patricia Smith is the 2013 Featured Artist for the Nebraska Writer’s Collective (NWC), a local nonprofit lead by Omaha poet Matt Mason, author of The Baby That Ate Cincinnati

“The NWC promotes creative writing and performance poetry throughout the Midwest,” Mason said. “We work to teach creative writing and performance workshops as well as provide more opportunity for local creative writers and performance poets.” 

Mason said he chose Smith to be the Featured Artist because “she’s one of my heroes and is one of the most successful poets in both the world of poetry slam and the world of publishing.” 

Smith will be teaching a writing workshop and performing a reading on Nov. 16, both of which are open to the public. The workshop is at 1 p.m. at Love’s Jazz and Art Center.  She will give some poetry writing prompts and share some of her ideas and techniques, said Mason. The reading is at 7 p.m. at the Joslyn Art Museum, and Smith will mainly read from her most recent poetry collections, Blood Dazzler and Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah

“We aim to raise community awareness of how exciting and entertaining poetry can be, hoping to see more people interested in writing poetry and more people interested in seeking out poetry readings locally,” Mason said. “We also want to showcase Patricia Smith’s talents, as she is one of the most accomplished poets in the world and we wanted to make the most out of her debut in Omaha.”

For more information about Smith’s visit to Omaha, be sure to visit