Patti Smith's book tour will stop at the Free Library of Philadelphia
Patti Smith | Photo by Jesse Ditmar

This fall, punk poet Patti Smith is releasing two new books. One is called M Train, and it’s the followup to her brilliant 2010 memoir Just Kids – which chronicled her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. (It’s easily one of the best books about music, art and life that I’ve ever read.)This book travels with Smith along the MTA across 18 stations, according to Pitchfork.

It begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. We then travel, through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations: from Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico, to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; from the ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith buys just before Hurricane Sandy hits, to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation, alongside signature memories including her life in Michigan with her husband, guitarist Fred Sonic Smith, whose untimely death was an irremediable loss. For it is loss, as well as the consolation we might salvage from it, that lies at the heart of this exquisitely told memoir, one augmented by stunning black-and-white Polaroids taken by Smith herself.

In addition to M Train, Smith is also releasing a collection of lyrics to coincide with the 40th anniversary of her seminal 1975 album Horses. The book tour in support of these brings Smith to the Free Library of Philadelphia on Friday, November 6th; tickets and more information can be found here.

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