Jo Patti’s first poem was published at 10 years of age in The New York Times. A competition was running through the schools and Patti’s poem was one of the winners – it was a poem about spring and fairies in the garden.
This began a life long love of the written and spoken word for Patti who won competitions in debate and speech and broke gender stereotypes at university as the first female on the debate team, Philodemic society and one of two females on the Judo team.
Patti has worked across the globe including the USA, Middle East, Russia, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Most recently working in the Middle East, Patti has returned to New Zealand to promote 2 books – Kismet; a collection of Patti’s poems and Getting Off the X; how people from across the globe get out of the line of fire, be it physical or emotional.
Getting Off the X talks about both physical and emotional dangers with one example in New York where a woman was trying to seduce a guy and he wanted to walk away. “People make the decision to walk away.”
Patti plans to return to the Middle East after her book tour as a training specialist who has proven herself over the last 10 years. “I have grace under pressure”. I have proved myself in numerous situations and my outcomes have been successful for training and health.”
Patti has certainly been under pressure over the years with the loss of her son Denali Schmidt and his father Marty Schmidt (Patti’s ex husband) while climbing K-2 in Pakistan in 2013. Their bodies have never been recovered.
Having lived with her family in New Zealand in the late 80’s and 90’s, Patti last returned with her daughter Sequoia in 2017. Sequoia, a book publisher encouraged Patti to put together an anthology of her poems after the death of Denali. Kismet is a collection written over the years – from Patti’s 20’s to today.
Returning to New Zealand in 2019 is providing personal catharsis for Patti. “I am surprised by the depth of memory here in New Zealand…I think that’s also because this time I am here alone. There are less emotional guards up”
While in New Zealand Patti is enjoying the peacefulness, the way Kiwi’s speak, and the beauty of our country. “It’s really different over here.” She is also enjoying reconnecting with friends and the Maori community who she knew while in New Zealand as a young family. Patti is also using the time while on tour to write her 3rd book Getting to Yun Tai Mountain before returning to the Middle East.
You can find out more about Patti’s book tour here.