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Randy Cohen Award-winning poet Patricia Smith and screening of youth slam documentary "Louder Than a Bomb
Friday, March 23, 2018
6 p.m. Patricia Smith presentation/Q&A
8 p.m. "Louder Than A Bomb" screening

— Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Downtown Campus

Playwright, essayist, professor, and award-winning poet Patricia Smith will host a presentation and Q&A at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, Albany, on the UAlbany downtown campus.

Following her talk, a screening of the youth slam poetry documentary LOUDER THAN A BOMB will be held at 8 p.m., also in Page Hall.

Free and open to the public, the programs are cosponsored by UAlbany’s English Graduate Student Organization, Graduate Student Association, English Department, and the New York State Writers Institute.

In January, Smith's newest collection, Incendiary Art (2016), a meditation on the murder of Emmett Till, was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry, and in February, it won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. The prize, one of the most prestigious and lucrative honors in poetry, is awarded to a poet in midcareer, and is the largest in the world given for a single volume of poetry.

Slam poetry impresario Bob Holman said Smith’s poems "sweat up the pages, caress the reader’s eyes, and set fire to the books they’re printed in." Smith's other collections include Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize of the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (2008), a National Book Award finalist; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a 2005 National Poetry Series selection.

Smith’s work has also appeared in Poetry magazine, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry, Best American Essays and Best American Mystery Stories. She co-edited The Golden Shovel Anthology—New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks and edited the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir.

The documentary LOUDER THAN A BOMB, (United States, 2010, 99 minutes, color), directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world’s largest youth slam. Roger Ebert named it one of the ten best documentaries of the year and Stan Hall in The Oregonian wrote, "Only those possessing hearts of stone will remain unmoved by the raw adolescent emotion, passion and verbal jousting that make Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel's documentary so poignant and enjoyable."


Below, watch the LOUDER THAN A BOMB trailer: