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University of Texas Press'


Short Books About The Artists We Love

A meditation on the artistry and influence of Patti Smith.

by Caryn Rose


Why Patti Smith Matters contextualizes Smith’s creative work, her influence, and her wide-ranging and still-evolving impact on rock and roll, visual art, and the written word. Author Caryn Rose goes deep into Smith’s oeuvre, from her first album, Horses, to acclaimed memoirs operating at a surprising remove from her music. The portrait of a ceaseless inventor, the book rescues punk’s poet laureate from “strong woman” clichés. Of course Smith is strong. She is also a nuanced thinker. A maker of beautiful and challenging things. A transformative artist who has not simply entertained but also empowered millions.

Why Patti Smith Matters is published abroad under the aegis of Faber & Faber.

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About The Author

Caryn Rose is a writer, novelist, and veteran music journalist whose work has appeared in multiple publications and books in the United States and internationally. WHY PATTI SMITH MATTERS is the culmination of decades of observation, reflection, and critical analysis about one of our generation's greatest artists.


You can find more of Caryn's recent work here, sign up for her newsletter, or follow her on Twitter.

"This book is a book for the people. All of us. Every one of us. Yes--even you. It is a lovingly crafted devotional to Patti Smith’s truthful genius and her vast contribution to global culture from over half a century. As one of the most beloved and revered artists of our times and the last of her kind, Smith's importance and creative influence cannot be overstated."




Pages Bookshop, a local Detroit bookstore, has graciously offered to handle orders for signed books. They do a great job of fulfilling book orders (they were my go-to during lockdown), are woman-owned, and are ruled by a benevolent dictator cat named Pip. 

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PREORDERS: If you pre-ordered the book and would like it signed, please email me for a bookplate.


Cameron M. Ludwick

cludwick at utpress dot utexas dot edu



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