Patti Smith — singer, songwriter, poet, author and icon — will be sharing her writing in a new weekly newsletter on Substack.
In a message posted Wednesday on her highly entertaining Instagram page, Smith wrote that she aims to use the newsletter to “form an inter-connective body of work for a responsive community,” posting “weekly ruminations, shards of poetry, music, and musings on whatever subject finds its way from thought to pen, news of the mind, pieces of this world, free to all.”
Smith’s abilities as a storyteller are on ample display in her National Book Award-winning memoir “Just Kids,” a recounting of her early years in New York City with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe — wherein such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Janis Joplin make real-life cameos — and a later memoir “M Train.”
Her newsletter will also eventually geature a subscription tier that will see a new publication called “The Melting” arrive every Tuesday, which she described as “a journal of my private pandemic,” with a first entry written on April 7 of last year.
Smith played a brief set with longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan at the Brooklyn Museum as part of New York State’s “PopsUp” festival, which is an effort to keep the spotlight on live entertainment as it enters its second year of lockdown.
While Smith has been active perfoming and speaking in recent years, among her most entertaining efforts was a “Words and Music” retrospective in New York in 2018, which saw her reading selections from her books and performing songs accompanied by Shanahan and her children, Jessie and Jackson. The following year she appeared at a Variety “Storytellers” event, where she spoke at length, a highlight of which was her story about losing her cool in front of Dylan.