Patricia Smith, an associate professor of English at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York System, has been selected to receive the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize from the Library of Congress.
The award, which comes with a $10,000 prize, is given out every two years and recognizes the most distinguished book of poetry written by an American and published during the preceding two years. The prize is donated by the family of the late Mrs. Bobbitt of Austin, Texas, in her memory, and established at the Library of Congress. Bobbitt was the late President Lyndon B. Johnson’s sister.
Professor Smith is being honored for her book Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012). The collection, which was also a finalist for the National Book Award, examines the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities.