Reading Group Center

Year of the Monkey Playlist

Following a run of New Year’s concerts at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, Patti Smith finds herself tramping the coast of Santa Cruz, about to embark on a year of solitary wandering. For Smith—inveterately curious, always exploring, always writing—this becomes a year of reckoning with the changes in life’s gyre: with loss, aging, and a dramatic shift in the political landscape of America. Taking us from California to the Arizona desert, from a Kentucky farm to the hospital room of a valued mentor, Smith melds the western landscape with her own dreamscape in a haunting, poetic blend of fact and fiction.

Now available in paperback, Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey is the perfect blend of poetry and memoir that recounts a year of grief, loss, and pressing on. And what better way to fully immerse yourself in Patti’s world than through listening to the songs and artists that marked her transformative year? So in true Patti fashion, grab a cup of black coffee and a copy of this beautiful paperback, and enjoy these classics from Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix, and more—including a few of Patti’s own.


Find a link to the Spotify playlist here.