About Rommi

Rommi Smith is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer, librettist and academic. Winner of numerous prestigious residencies and commissions from institutions ranging from the British Council to the BBC, she is a three-time BBC writer-in-residence. Rommi’s writing is broadcast on programmes and stations, including: POETRY PLEASE, THE VERB, IN TUNE, WOMAN’S HOUR, LATE JUNCTION, BBC WORLD SERVICE and Melvyn Bragg’s acclaimed BBC series THE MATTER OF THE NORTH.

 

Rommi is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer in Residence and inaugural Poet-in-Residence for Keats’ House, Hampstead. Her writing is published by BLOODAXE, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS, SEREN, SHOESTRING PRESS, ROUTE, OBERON MODERN PLAYS and PEEPAL TREE PRESS, among others. In 2018, she founded her own production company and small press: 125TH& MIDNIGHT.

 

Rommi is finalising her practice-led PhD; a re-reading of the legacies of the classic Black blues and Jazz women. A Visiting Scholar at City University New York (CUNY), she has presented her work at institutions including: THE SEGAL THEATRE, THE SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE and CITY COLLEGE NEW YORK. Rommi’s performance at THE SCHWERNER WRITERS’ SERIES in New York was at the invitation of Tyehimba Jess, Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry. Her academic writing was first published by NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS as part of the groundbreaking book IMAGINING QUEER METHODS (2019).

 

THE RAIN IS COMING is a feminist reworking of Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin a collaboration with British composer Emily Levy and celebrated British baritone and composer, Roderick Williams. The piece received its world premiere on BBC RADIO 3. Rommi is currently collaborating with Roderick Williams on a new work, in response to Beethoven’s archive which is scheduled to premiere this year at the AUSTRALIAN FESTIVAL OF CHAMBER MUSIC.

 

Shortlisted for a SOUTHBANK SHOW AWARD, Rommi’s plays have been performed at the EDINBURGH FESTIVAL and broadcast on BBC radio in the AFTERNOON DRAMA and WOMAN’S HOUR DRAMA slots. She has received theatre commissions from companies from PAINES Plough to PENTABUS. A recipient of a Hedgebrook Fellowship (USA), she is winner of THE NORTHERN WRITERS’ PRIZE for Poetry (chosen by the poet Don Paterson) and the Elizabeth George Award. Further honours include: a CAVE CANEM fellowship and scholarships from Hugo House and The Shipman Agency.

 

Rommi’s first digital play ALL THE PLACES WE COULD TRAVEL, which she both wrote and co-directed (her first directing credit) is commissioned by DERBY THEATRE and was written and produced during the global pandemic. Rommi is thrilled to be named one of the SPHINX30 playwrights; a prestigious programme of professional mentoring which has identified 30 leading British women playwrights and is curated by legendary company SPHINX THEATRE. Project mentors include: Pulitzer-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, Winsome Pinnock and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

 

A sought-after facilitator, lecturer, mentor and qualified teacher - with over twenty-five years’ experience of working in diverse community, educational, academic and mental health settings - Rommi curates bespoke writing and performance-based experiences for individuals, groups, institutions, and authorities. Her client-list ranges from: The NATIONAL THEATRE INSTITUTE, USA (for whom she is visiting faculty) to the NHS (for whom she was a writer-in-residence and where she still continues to work as a creative specialist in the field of perinatal mental health).

 

In 2021, Rommi is honoured to be the inaugural Writer-in-Residence for TOPFOTO (the UK’s leading photographic archive) and Poet-in-Residence for the WORDSWORTH TRUST, GRASMERE.

 

www.rommi-smith.co.uk

Twitter: @rommismith

Soundcloud: RommiSmith

 

What people say

Benjamin Zephaniah

‘There is a place where the musical, the political, the spiritual and the beautiful come together and it is here’

Lemn Sissay

‘Spirit. Takin’ it to the edge. Sunrise . Sunset. Rommi Smith got thunderstorm in her hands. Painting pictures with her voice…waking the landscape .’

Shing (workshop participant)

‘Thank you for helping me colour in my outline”

Services

Workshops

Rommi Smith is a qualified teacher and experienced workshop leader, with over sixteen years’ experience teaching creative writing from nursery to university level. Creator of bespoke creative writing experiences, Rommi tailors creative writing workshops and events for a wealth of festivals, groups, organisations and institutions, including: The Writing Squad, The International Schools’ Theatre Association; Arvon and The Poetry School. More info

Residencies & commissions

Rommi has held numerous prestigious international residencies for organisations ranging from the British Council, to the BBC; The Florence Nightingale Museum to The Houses of Parliament. Rommi is both the inaugural Parliamentary Writer in Residence and Inaugural Poet in Residence for Keats’ House. Rommi was awarded a prestigious Hedgebrook Fellowship in the US and is a grateful recipient of the Elizabeth George Award. Rommi is currently working on commissions for BBC Radio 3, The London Metroplitan Archive and The Poetry Library at the Southbank Centre, inspired by works from The Arts Council Collection. More info

Performances, Projects & Publications

Rommi has written and performed extensively across BBC Radio. Awarded commissions for programmes including: From Fact to Fiction; BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama; Poetry Please, Late Junction; The Verb and Woman’s Hour, Rommi’s contribution to Woman’s Hour was a selected feature for Weekend Woman’s Hour. More info

Contact

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@rommismith

- 2 days ago

RT @MixedMuseum: #Archive30 #FavouriteItem ‘Crown Street, London'. We first saw this photo next to a 1930 Daily Express article vilifying t…
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@rommismith

- 5 days ago

RT @anitasethi: I was racially abused on a train journey through northern England. The racist man told me to go back to where I’m from. In…
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@rommismith

- 6 days ago

RT @vinkjohn: Matt Loughrey in Vice is not colourising S21 photographs. He is falsifying history: https://t.co/z6J99J7BOE
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@rommismith

- 7 days ago

RT @bbchw: A senior doctor working for the NHS in Worcestershire is battling to stop her mum from being deported so she can carry on workin…
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@rommismith

- 9 days ago

RT @IncArtsUK1: If you've already filled in the @BLKLivesinMusic survey – thank you! Please share it amongst your networks and encourage p…
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Latest News

BBC World Service – Live Performance and interview

BBC World Service – Live Performance and interview

Wonderful live interview with BBC World Service presenter, Anu Anand, followed by a live performance of Room of Mirrors, a poem exploring exile and homecoming. […]

Rommi working on a new poem set to music for SAA UK (South Asian Arts UK)

Rommi working on a new poem set to music for SAA UK (South Asian Arts UK)

Rommi is delighted to be working on a brand new poem for SAA UK (South Asian Arts UK) in collaboration with Fruit Tree Project. The […]

An Allegory of a Painting – Sarah Pickstone in conversation with Rommi Smith

An Allegory of a Painting – Sarah Pickstone in conversation with Rommi Smith

Join artist Sarah Pickstone and poet and playwright Rommi Smith as they discuss Pickstone’s latest painting installation and her research into the life and work […]

Who Rommi worked with

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