Punk Poet and Performer Patti Smith Comes to Yale

Legendary songwriter, artist and activist, Patti Smith will be at Yale for two separate evening events sponsored by the Whitney Humanities Center: On Nov. 3, she will introduce a screening of the film “Patti Smith: Dream of Life” (2008). Following the screening of the 109-minute documentary, Smith will join the director Steven Sebring in a discussion of the film, which was 11 years in the making. On Nov. 4, Smith will perform and read from her work, most notably from her recently published autobiography, “Just Kids.”

Both events, which are free and open to the public, take place at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St. Seating is limited, and tickets must be ordered in advance.

Sometimes referred to as the “Godmother of Punk,” Smith was born in 1946 and, like her sometime collaborator and fellow-performer Bruce Springsteen, grew up in New Jersey. Smith burst on the punk rock stage in 1975 with her debut album, “Horses.”

Smith often incorporates her own poetry into her songs, and she cites French poet Arthur Rimbaud as a major influence. Among her many honors: being named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and receiving an honorary doctorate from Pratt Institute, where, though never actually enrolled, she spent many of her formative years in the company of Robert Mapplethorpe and his fellow art students. In “Just Kids,” Smith talks about her long-time relationship with the photographer.

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Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345