Smith and the City

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With the release of her new memoir, Just Kids, which documents her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, punk rock idol Patti Smith has events lined up in and around New York City.

Events include readings and musical performances in support of her book and a new PBS documentary, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, about her life and art, which has already screened at over 30 film festivals around the world including the 2008 Sundance Film Festival where it won an award for cinematography. Here’s a brief run-down of all things Smith for the next month or so in New York in chronological order:

Listen to “Horses” and “Hey Joe” while you read:

12/29, 12/30, 12/31: Patti Smith and Her Band live at the Bowery Ballroom. $40. Doors 8:00pm.

12/30: As part of its POV series, PBS broadcasts Patti Smith: Dream of Life, a documentary over 11 years of Smith’s life by fashion photographer Stephen Sebring that explores the many faces of her art and life, from poetry to music to the many friends who influenced her including Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Sam Shepard.

1/19: Publication of Just Kids (Ecco).

1/19: Upstairs at the Square with Patti Smith–reading of Just Kids at Barnes & Noble Union Square (if you can’t make it to the reading at 92Y two days later, see below).

1/21: Sam Shepard and Patti Smith Read at 92Y. Long time friends Sam Shepard (Pulitzer Prize winning playwright) and Patti Smith once co-wrote and co-starred in the play Cowboy Mouth, which owes its genesis to an affair between Shepard and Smith that led him to take up residence with Smith in Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel). With the publication of their new books—Shepard’s story collection Day Out of Days, and Smith’s memoir Just Kids—they reunite on stage once more to read together for the first time at the Poetry Center and hopefully rekindle a little of their old stage magic. 92nd St. Y. Lexington [email protected] St. $27 all sections. $10 35-and-under. 8:00pm.

Watch the Trailer to Patti Smith: Dream of Life:

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Photo of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith in Cowboy Mouth © 1971 by Gerard Malanga


Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and Esquire.com. She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →