Major Author Reading Series Continues with Acclaimed Poet Patricia Smith

M.A.R.S. lecture series concludes for the fall semester on Nov. 27.

Celebrated poet and performance artist Patricia Smith will speak at Manhattan College on Tuesday, Nov. 27 to conclude the fifth semester of the Major Author Reading Series (M.A.R.S.).

The M.A.R.S. series, established in 2010, is designed to engage and expose students to modern literature. The lectures have brought a variety of noted authors to campus for readings and book signings, including Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Diaz, Jennifer Egan and Claudia Emerson, novelist Rick Moody, essayist Phillip Lopate, novelist Joshua Ferris, and Marie Howe, the current Poet Laureate of New York State.

Patricia Smith is renowned for her 2008 poetry volume Blood Dazzler, which accounts the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The collection was named one of NPR’s top five books of 2008 and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award.

“With her radiant powers of empathy, her fiercely acute ear for the musical possibilities of American speech, and her undiluted rage, Patricia Smith makes in Katrina’s wake a sorrowful, unflinching, and glorious book,” says poet Mark Doty on Smith’s writing in Blood Dazzler.

Smith is the author of six other volumes of poetry, and her works have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, such as Poetry, The Paris Review and TriQuarterly. A variety of her works have also been performed around the world.

She is a four-time National Poetry Slam champion, the most successful poet/performer in the competition’s history, and also was a featured poet on HBO’s Def Poetry Slam. In addition, she is the winner of a Pushcart Prize and Chatauqua Literary Journal Award in poetry.

The M.A.R.S. lecture will be held at 4 p.m. in Hayden 100, and the event is open to the public.

For more information about the M.A.R.S. series at Manhattan College, contact Adam Koehler, assistant professor of English, by email at or by phone at (718) 862-7546, or David Eye, visiting assistant professor of creative writing, by email at or by phone at (718) 862-7921.