Performance Poet Patricia Smith to Visit Valencia

On Thursday, Sept. 16, poet Patricia Smith will give a reading at Valencia’s Winter Park Campus, located at 850 W. Morse Boulevard. The reading will take place from 1-2 p.m. in the Student Lounge and will be followed by a book signing.

Patricia Smith is a four-time national individual champion of the Poetry Slam – the most successful competitor in slam history. She was featured in the nationally released film “Slamnation,” and appeared on the award-winning HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.”

Her fifth book of poetry, “Blood Dazzler” chronicles the human, physical and emotional toll exacted by Hurricane Katrina. “Blood Dazzler” is also the focal point of a dance/theater collaboration between Smith and Urban Bush Women dancer, Paloma McGregor.

A short film of Smith performing the poem “Undertaker,” produced by Tied to the Tracks Films, won awards at the Sundance and San Francisco Film Festivals and earned a prestigious Cable Ace Award as part of the Lifetime Network’s first annual Women’s Film Festival. A selection of Smith’s poetry was also produced as a one-woman play by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott.

A 2008 National Book Award Finalist, Smith is also the author of “Teahouse of the Almighty,” a National Poetry Series winner, the Best Poetry Book of 2006 on, and a 2007 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and Paterson Poetry Prize winner. Her poems have appeared in anthologies such as “Gathering Ground,” “The Spoken Word Revolution” and “The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.”

In October of 2006, Patricia was inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent.

An instructor of poetry, performance and creative writing, Smith is a professor of English at CUNY/College of Staten Island and a faculty member of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

This event marks the first of the season for Visions and Voices, Valencia’s Distinguished Artist Series, which brings world-class poets, songwriters, and artists from across the country and around the world to Valencia to share their work with students, faculty, staff, and the community.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Nichole McPherson at 407-582-3121 or

For upcoming artist events at Valencia, visit