CHF 2014: Journeys

Patti Smith

2014 Chicago Tribune Literary Award

Legendary rock ’n’ roller. Punk poetess. Conjurer of the dead.

This year’s Chicago Tribune Literary Award pays tribute to Patti Smith, a galvanizing artistic force for four decades. At the heart of New York’s downtown scene with the likes of Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Sam Shepard, and Allen Ginsberg, Smith—all shaggy hair and hollow cheeks—mesmerized the avant-garde. Her debut album, Horses, was electrifying. Its raw energy changed music and poetry for good. Just Kids, her gorgeous, stirring memoir of the era and her relationship with the late Robert Mapplethorpe, made people fall in love with Smith all over again. Spend an unforgettable hour at Symphony Center with this American icon.

This program is presented in partnership with the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row series.

“Jesus may have died for somebody’s sins, but Patti Smith lives and writes and sings for all of us.”—The Washington Post 

Photograph of Patti Smith by Edward Mapplethorpe

Speakers and Performers

Patti Smith

Patti Smith, born in Chicago and raised in South Jersey, migrated to New York in 1967. Her first recording, 1975’s Horses, was inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in 2010. Her acclaimed memoir, Just Kids, chronicles her friendship and journey in art with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and was awarded the 2010 National Book Award. Smith’s artwork has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide and she continues to write, perform, work on art projects, and lends support for human right issues. 

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Leaders And Thinkers

Patti Smith
Official website

Good Reads

Patti Smith: punk poet queen
Interview with the Guardian

Online Resources

Patti Smith
Patti Smith on MySpace