Sun 1 March 2020 - Tue 2 March 2021
Podcast #3: Rommi Smith goes "yondering" in Kirkgate Market
Leeds Lit Fest is delighted to have commissioned ten new and original podcasts for the 2020 Festival funded by Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.
There are 5 writer profiles. Each of these podcasts features a writer currently working in Leeds and has been recorded on location somewhere in the city. In response to their surroundings in that moment, the featured writers talk about the relationship between their own writing and the idea of place.
Rommi Smith has won numerous prestigious residencies and commissions for institutions ranging from the British Council to the BBC. A poet, performer, theatre-maker and librettist, Smith’s work encompasses a number of historic “firsts”: she is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer in Residence and inaugural Poet in Residence for Keats’ House, Hampstead. In 2020, Smith is Poet-In-Residence for the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere.
A university lecturer and workshop leader, Rommi is the curator of tailor-made, word-based experiences for all kinds of groups and people. As a writing and performance mentor, for the last seven years Smith has nurtured writers to masters’ study, competition level and publication via her own workshop: Rommi Smith’s Poetry Workshop. She teaches writing and performance at institutions ranging from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, to Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) to The National Theatre Institute, USA.
John Barnard Scholar at Leeds University, Smith is currently finalising her practice-led PhD, an exploration of the legacies of the classic Black blues and Jazz women. Visiting Scholar at City University New York (CUNY), Smith has had the privilege of interviewing some of the greatest contemporary Jazz and Blues artists including Dianne Reeves and Esperanza Spalding. Presenter of original work at The Segal Theatre, New York and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Harlem - her performance at Schwerner Writers’ Series in New York was at the invitation of Tyehimba Jess, Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry.
In 2019, Smith’s academic writing was first published by New York University Press, as part of the groundbreaking book Imagining Queer Methods. She is a recipient of an Arts Council England Award, a US Hedgebrook Fellowship and is a winner of The Northern Writers’ Prize for Poetry 2019:
Free to listen. Click on the link here.