Patti Smith and James Franco Will Be Reading Poetry at Fort Tilden This Sunday

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, definitely not Patti Smith and James Franco.

If you weren’t able to get tickets to BAM’s screening of Do the Right Thing on Sunday, well, that’s too bad! But there is something else that you can do, something culturally relevant, and that is go see the undeniably legendary Patti Smith and the undeniably ubiquitous James Franco read poetry on Fort Tilden beach. 

As part of Rockaway!, a (totally free!) public arts initiative put together by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy (JBRPC), Smith and Franco will be, respectively, doing a spoken word performance and reading poetry at Fort Tilden this Sunday, as part of a day-long celebration commemorating both the re-opening of the beach following its Hurricane Sandy-related devastation, and the ongoing recovery of the entire region.

Rockaway! was conceived by the Rockaway Artists Alliance and the JBRPC and was made possible by a collaboration with MOMA PS1 and the National Park Service, and will run from June 29-September 1. Sunday’s events include the evening performances by Smith and Franco (which include a Walt Whitman reading), family-friendly activities throughout the day, and an opening night part at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club.

For more information on Rockaway!, visit

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


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