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Rocker, poet, icon, writer

SANTA FE, N.M. — Patti Smith – rocker, poet, best-selling nonfiction writer and, recently, a fashion icon – is coming back to town for a SITE Santa Fe event, but she’s not bringing the band this time.

Santa Fe oldsters know that Smith and her group put on a great show under a tent at SITE more than two decades ago – on July 19, 1997, to be precise. The date is recorded on such websites as and, but no set list is available.

Those who were there, though, can probably remember at least a few key highlights without having to resort to any written record – Patti replacing Jackson Pollock with local hero Georgia O’Keeffe in that great song (whose title would not be appropriate in this space) which anthemically posits the singer herself and other artists as “outside of society;” Patti flossing her teeth between songs; and her son tearing it up on guitar.

Smith will be on a Santa Fe stage again on Jan. 19, presented by SITE, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. The show starts at 7 p.m.

This time, she’s coming in her role as writer. She will read from a selection of her recent books, including “M Train” and “Devotion: Why I Write,” as well “Just Kids,” a memoir that won her the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2010.

Alas, tickets – face value $25-125, with the top price including cake and champagne with Smith after the event at SITE Santa Fe, and first offered to SITE members and then to the public on Dec. 4 – sold out within three days of the public offering. So Smith fans who still want to go will have hunt the internet for possible resales.

SITE is promoting Smith’s appearance as an evening “of stories (and an a cappella song or two) about love, loss, art and New York City from iconic poet, writer, artist and performer.”

SITE says all tickets included a copy of Smith’s “Devotion: Why I Write” (Yale University Press, 2017).