This interview was originally broadcast on January 19, 2010. 'Just Kids' was recently nominated for a National Book Award and will be released in a paperback edition on November 2, 2010.
It was in 1967, on her first day in New York, that 20-year-old aspiring poet Patti Smith met fellow artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Their friendship, romance and creative collaboration began on that day and lasted until Mapplethorpe's death in 1989.
Both children of religious upbringings and influenced by ideas of outsider culture, the pair would stay up painting and listening to records in their Brooklyn apartment before Mapplethorpe eventually moved to San Francisco.
In the course of their friendship, Smith would become a punk icon and Mapplethorpe a famed photographer. Smith's new memoir, Just Kids, tells the story of their 22-year friendship. She joins Fresh Air for a conversation about her career and her singular relationship with Mapplethorpe.