The 2009/2010 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series celebrates National Poetry Month by presenting an evening with National Book Award finalist Patricia Smith and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Dorianne Laux.
Patricia Smith, a four-time winner of the National Poetry Slam (the most successful slammer to date), is the author of five books of poetry. Her latest collection, Blood Dazzler, was a National Book Award finalist and was named one of National Public Radio’s “Top 5 Books for 2008.” Booklist calls it “a towering testament to the tragedy of New Orleans before, during, and after Katrina,” and Terrance Hayes says, “Smith is herself a storm of beautiful, frightening talent. Her words will wash you, or wash you away. I consider this new book a major literary event.” Smith’s earlier collection, Teahouse of the Almighty, was selected for the National Poetry Series and was awarded the first Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Smith has also been featured in the film, SlamNation, and on the HBO series, Def Poetry Jam.
Dorianne Laux is the author of four volumes of poetry, including Smoke, Awake, and her most recent, Facts About the Moon, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Poet Tony Hoagland calls her work the poetry of “one who looks clearly, passionately, and affectionately at rites of passage, motherhood, the life of work, sisterhood, and especially sexual love, in a celebratory fashion.” Publishers Weekly says, “Laux works in the idiom of Philip Levine and Sharon Olds, yet Laux’s best verse is perhaps more surprising than theirs.” Laux is also co-author, with Kim Addonizio, of The Poets Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry.
Following the reading, the poets will be interviewed onstage by Houston poet and University of Houston Creative Writing Program faculty member Martha Serpas. The evening will conclude with a book sale and signing, conducted by Brazos Bookstore.