Patti Smith moves through our collective imagination as an enigma, the epitome of "cool" and that is part of her appeal. Visionary "Godmother of Punk" of the 1970s, to the American Top-40 listening world, she's probably best known for "Because the Night" co-written with Bruce Springsteen in 1978, and brought into new light after 10,000 Maniacs remade the song in 1993. She's not now, nor has ever really been, mainstay on radio, and seemingly disappeared altogether through most of the 80s and 90s from the public eye. She's back this year with a vengeance, still private yet artistic as ever, and for that, I recommend checking out her work, past and present. I won't make this a review of her work because it's something that just needs to be experienced. You'll understand.
Her ninth book of poetry Auguries of Innocence was first published in 2005 but was re-released this summer in an "expanded" edition, although including only two new poems from the original text. She also has a new album out, also released this summer, entitled "The Coral Sea" with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. And her talent is not limited to poetry or song. A book of her photography will be released this November, entitled Patti Smith, Land 250. Also, to get a better glimpse into the life of this transient artist, the book Patti Smith: Dream of Life will be released on Tuesday, August 26, based on the acclaimed film of the same name.
And for your listening pleasure, some of her songs: