Patti Smith set for Edinburgh and Glasgow dates in 2013

The punk poet shows no signs of slowing

Patti Smith

At 66, Patti Smith is entering the twilight of her career with an energy and passion for the creative process that feels remarkably fresh and vital. Whether as poet, writer, photographer, activist or musician, she continues to produce a body of work that is insightful, raw and honest, charting in candid detail her unlikely journey from artist’s muse to grand dame of punk.

This was wonderfully evidenced in Smith’s memoir Just Kids, a chronicle of her unconventional relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe in the late 1960s and early 1970s and, more recently, by her well-received album Banga, which includes a touching tribute to Amy Winehouse. Death and loss continue to be powerful themes in Smith’s work, whether reflecting on great artists cut down before their time – she recently performed a show at the Brontë sisters’ home in Yorkshire – or the tragic deaths of her husband and brother.

Stripped down and laid bare, this intimate performance with bassist Tony Shanahan features a selection of songs from her back catalogue alongside spoken word readings. Smith is also appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival, with composer Philip Glass, in a tribute to the legendary Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

Patti Smith & Tony Shanahan: An Evening of Words & Music, Òran MÓr, Glasgow, Mon 12 Aug; The Poet Speaks, Edinburgh Playhouse, Tue 13 Aug.

Patti Smith: Fire of Unknown Origin

Patti Smith Gloria

Patti Smith - After the Goldrush .wmv

Conversations: Philip Glass and Patti Smith

Philip Glass is joined by Patti Smith to discuss their cross-art form collaboration The Poet Speaks with writer and broadcaster Richard Coles.

The Poet Speaks

  • 4 stars

Two of the pillars of contemporary music come together for an intimate evening of poetry, music and song in tribute to their friend, the great Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg. Punk poet and provocateur Patti Smith performs both her own and Ginsberg’s poetry, with accompaniment and solo pieces for piano from founding…

Patti Smith & Tony Shanahan: An Evening of Words & Music

The redoubtable New York punk diva is joined by accompanist Tony Shanahan to perform stripped-back renditions of classics from her back catalogue and share some free-flowing spoken word.


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