Patti Smith's Woolgathering
(New Directions, 2011: 80 pages)
reviewed by Cooper Renner

Billed as a memoir, Woolgathering is actually almost as much prose-poem meditation, a sort of biography of the poet and musician's spirit, as well as a tribute to her loved ones and the impact they have had upon her life, perhaps most movingly in the case of her younger sister Kimberly. Black-and-white photographs, some of them documentary in nature, others more nearly impressionistic, accompany the generally brief, essentially independent essays which work together to create a whole. Smith's imagination and heart come through strongly, along with her clever use of language: "The mind of a child is like a kiss on the forehead -- open and disinterested."