Rommi Smith is an international writer who has held numerous prestigious and historically significant writing residencies for institutions ranging from The British Council to the BBC. Smith is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer in Residence and inaugural Poet in Residence for Keats’ House. Her clients range from The Royal Academy, to The Royal Opera House.
As BBC Poet in Residence for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Poet in Residence for BBC Music Live, Smith wrote and performed extensively across BBC Radio including on BBC Radio 5 Live! and The BBC World Service. Awarded commissions from 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.
Appointed Parliamentary Writer in Residence, Smith’s appointment was the first of its kind in both British and Parliamentary history. Inaugural Poet in Residence at Keats’ House, London [former home, now museum, celebrating the life of Romantic poet, John Keats], Smith also served as British Council Poet in Residence at California State University, Los Angeles. Whilst in residence, she directed brand new theatre about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in collaboration with English Masters’ students and the university’s Jazz Orchestra.
Recipient of playwriting commissions from companies ranging from Paines Plough to Pentabus, her play Mountain Knows Me received a Southbank Show Award nomination, as part of White Open Spaces. White Open Spaces was co-commissioned by BBC Radio and Pentabus, with broadcasts on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and performances at Edinburgh Festival, before a European tour.
A qualified secondary school teacher, with over twenty years’ experience of working in diverse educational settings, Smith curates bespoke writing experiences for a variety of groups, organisations and authorities. Rommi mentored Theatre Masters’ students at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, as well as writers developing new opera at The Royal Opera House. She runs her own writing workshop for experienced writers. A number of group members have since gone on to study creative writing at Masters' level.
Featured in the multi-award-winning documentary film, We Are Poets, Smith was poet coach to the film’s young poets in their lead up to competing at Brave New Voices poetry slam championships, in the US. Brave New Voices is widely recognised as the biggest and most prestigious poetry slam championships in the world.
The Rain is Coming is Smith’s feminist reworking of Schubert’s Die Schone Mullerin in collaboration with British composer Emily Levy and celebrated British baritone, Roderick Williams. The piece received its world premiere on BBC Radio 3.
Awarded a prestigious Hedgebrook Fellowship in the United States, Smith is a recipient of the Elizabeth George Award.
‘Thank you for helping me colour in my outline”
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