A slim, poetic memoir of Smith’s early years….Ethereal spins of innocence and enchantment.


An ode to childhood and to “woolgathering” as the wellspring for a creative life—now in an expanded paperback edition

Included in the Available Titles catalog


Literature by Patti Smith

  • With a new afterword and photographs by the author

The National Book Award–winner Patti Smith updates her treasure box of a childhood memoir about “clear unspeakable joy” and “just the wish to know” with a radiant new afterword, written during the pandemic and reflecting on current times. This expanded paperback edition also includes new photographs by the author.

A great book about becoming an artist, Woolgathering tells of a child finding herself as she learns the noble vocation of woolgathering, “a worthy calling that seemed a good job for me.” She discovers—often at night, often in nature—the pleasures of rescuing “a fleeting thought.” Woolgathering calls up our own memories, as the child “glimpses and gleans, piecing together a crazy quilt of truths.” Smith shares the fierce, vital pleasures of stargazing and wandering. Her new Afterword, penned during the quarantine, opens new horizons in “the scarcely charted landscape of memory governed by clouds.”

Woolgathering celebrates the sacred nature of creation in Smith’s singular language, acclaimed as “glorious” (NPR), “spellbinding” (Booklist), “rare and ferocious” (Salon), and “shockingly beautiful” (New York Magazine).

Paperback(published Oct, 26 2021)

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Clothbound(published Nov, 28 2011)

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Portrait of Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Patti Smith is an American singer-songwriter and author.

A slim, poetic memoir of Smith’s early years….Ethereal spins of innocence and enchantment.


Half beautiful language and metaphors, half raw emotion, this book (which includes a handful of personal photos) will inspire and influence a new generation of logophiles as they read and reread this absorbing, meditative work.

Publishers Weekly

One thing I’ve always admired about Patti Smith is her refusal to be characterized … Such a sensibility—fluid, visionary, risky—marks the eleven pieces in Woolgathering, a collection of impressionistic prose poems that dances at the edge of memoir before opting for something harder to pin down.

David Ulin, The LA Times

Capturing moments of her adult life, Smith pares down her prose to a state of vivid impressionism, so enigmatic that even ordinary acts take on spiritual weight.

The Guardian

A poet of distinction.

The New York Times