Patricia Smith is the author of Gotta Go, Gotta Flow (CityFiles Press, 2015), a collaboration with Chicago photographer Michael Abramson;Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012) – winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and the Rebekah Bobbitt from the Library of Congress; and Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, 2008) – a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award. She also authored Teahouse of the Almighty (Coffee House Press, 2006) – a 2005 National Poetry Series Selection; Close to Death (Zoland Books, 1993); Big Towns, Big Talk (Zoland Books, 1992) – which won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award; and Life According to Motown (Tía Chucha Press, 1991). She is a Guggenheim fellow and a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, and her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Best American Essays, and Best American Mystery Stories. She has written and performed two one-woman plays, one of which was produced by Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theater Workshop. She is a Cave Canem faculty member, teaches in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, and is a Professor of Creative Writing at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island. She lives in Howell, New Jersey. Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths.