Post your questions for Patti Smith

What would you ask the legendary punk musician, poet and memoirist – who says a new newsletter project has reinvented her approach to creativity?

It didn’t take long for lockdown to be reframed as the chance to finally produce that creative masterpiece you’ve been sitting on: after all, Shakespeare wrote King Lear during the plague, so what’s your excuse? Patti Smith – as ever – did something more interesting with her time, focusing not on one singular work but an opportunity to let her wild creativity roam while she shielded with a bronchial condition.

In April 2021, Smith launched a Substack newsletter to share her poetry, music and thoughts. It quickly inspired The Melting, a longer, serialised work (now at 45 parts and counting) that started as her private pandemic journal before undergoing a glorious multimedia mutation that blurs fact and fiction. “I was already looking to get out of my skin and move into another dimension,” she told Esquire.

From her inimitable evocations of lockdown claustrophobia, a “parallel”, multidimensional world emerged, in which Smith embarks on a path of discovery that draws in science-fiction, warnings about the climate crisis and dealings with the defunct Continental Drift Club that may be familiar to readers of M Train.

“The reader is my notebook,” says Smith, who credits her Substack with reinventing her process of creating and publishing – a bold and thrilling assertion from an artist who has never trodden a conventional creative path, from those early days in New York City’s nascent punk scene, to collaborations with her partner Robert Mapplethorpe; taking early semi-retirement to raise her family and gloriously re-emerging as one of the greatest live performers of her generation.

Latterly, she has made her name all over again as a powerful and inventive memoirist with Just Kids, M Train and Year of the Monkey – and autumn will bring a new photographic publication, A Book of Days, collecting “a year of reflections and images, inspired by my Instagram, but original throughout … The fruit of much labor, populated by sacred ghosts, and celebrating the new.”

You can ask Smith about all of this, and anything else from her fantastically sprawling history, when she sits for the Guardian’s reader interview. Post your questions in the comments by 6pm GMT on 27 March and Smith’s responses will be published on 1 April.

• Subscribe to Patti Smith’s Substack and read The Melting at


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Patti Smith: 'As a writer, you can be a pacifist or a murderer'
As she prepares to ring in 2021 with a performance on screens at Piccadilly Circus, the punk poet explains why she’s optimistic amid the ‘debris’ of Trump’s years in office

Fiona Sturges

29, Dec, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Patti Smith: punk poet queen

She was the angry, androgynous runaway who got chatted up by Allen Ginsberg and had a grand love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe. And at 66 Patti Smith shows no sign of mellowing. Simon Hattenstone spends a gothic afternoon at home with the punk legend

Simon Hattenstone

25, May, 2013 @8:00 AM

Article image
‘We have to fight for what is right’: Patti Smith on gender, Sally Rooney and Cop26
In the run-up to the climate conference, the rock’n’roll poet reflects – with a little help from her daughter – on a life spent breaking barriers, hanging out with Dylan and learning to Instagram

Nadia Khomami

29, Oct, 2021 @1:08 PM

Article image
Patti Smith: where to start in her back catalogue
In Listener’s digest, our writers help you explore the work of great musicians. Next up: the hugely influential poet who brought Baudelaire to punk

Fiona Sturges

10, Jun, 2020 @2:40 PM

Article image
Patti Smith review – punk, poetry and the raw power of connection
From punk ragers to stories of Blake and Bunyan, the poet laureate of dissent wrings blood, sweat and love out of every second of stage time

Emma Garland

06, Oct, 2021 @10:45 AM

Article image
Patti Smith: ‘I am who I am with all my flaws’
At 75, the punk poet, singer, artist and author talks candidly about life, loss, loneliness and her acclaimed new photography project

Kate Kellaway

13, Nov, 2022 @10:00 AM

Article image
‘I experience joy very easily’: Patti Smith on Springsteen, the climate fight and the meaning of punk
The singer, poet and writer answers your questions about playing music with her children, being at her friend Allen Ginsberg’s deathbed and maintaining hope in a troubled world

As told to Dave Simpson

31, Mar, 2022 @2:00 PM

Article image
Post your questions for Henry Rollins
Before his Good to See You tour kicks off in the UK, sends us your questions for the spoken-word performer and former Black Flag frontman

Laura Snapes

14, Mar, 2023 @5:51 PM

Article image
Post your questions for Blondie’s Debbie Harry
As the legendary new wave band prepare for a UK tour, its beloved frontwoman will take questions from Guardian readers

Laura Snapes

23, Feb, 2022 @1:06 PM

Article image
Woolgathering by Patti Smith – review
Smith's vivid sequence of memoir sketches has lost none of its quiet power in this augmented 20th anniversary edition, writes Helen Zaltzman

Helen Zaltzman

12, May, 2012 @11:03 PM