Westport may be the only place in the world where Tom Brokaw, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam and Will Shortz could all appear in the same sentence.
That’s because all have been named “Booked for the Evening” honorees by the Westport Library. Poet/punk rocker Patti Smith joins that diverse, talented list this year. She’ll be honored May 19, at the 13th annual event.
Every honoree is different — but Patti Smith is waaay different. Leaving a factory job in 1967, she fled to New York. There she worked in bookstores, wrote poetry, and hung out with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and playwright Sam Shepard.
Influenced by icons like the Stones, Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Lou Reed, she merged poetry and music. Her debut album, “Horses,” was named the 44th greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
She recorded 11 more albums, and in 2007 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Her art has been shown at the Andy Warhol Museum, and the French Ministry of Culture gave her its highest honor.
Her books include Just Kids, which won the National Book Award in 2010.
Patti Smith is not a presidential historian. She’s not a movie director, playwright or news anchor.
But she has “nurtured a love of learning, and enhanced our understanding of the world.” That’s the criteria for a “Booked for the Evening” honor.
Will Patti Smith read poetry on May 19 — or rock the house? Book a ticket now, and see.
(For ticket or sponsorship information, click here.)