Place of birth
United Kingdom
Place of residence
United Kingdom
National identity
United Kingdom

Rommi Smith

Short biography
Dr Rommi Smith is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer, librettist and scholar. She 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. Appointed as the BBC Poet in Residence for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Poet in Residence for BBC Music Live, Rommi has written and performed extensively across BBC Radio. She has been 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.

Appointed Parliamentary Writer in Residence, Rommi’s appointment was the first of its kind in both British and Parliamentary history. Rommi was the Inaugural Poet in Residence at Keats’ House, London, and 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 playwrighting 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.

Rommi teaches creative writing for a wealth of organisations and institutions, including: The International Schools’ Theatre Association; The Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School. Rommi mentored Theatre Masters’ students at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Featured in the multi-award-winning documentary film We Are Poets, Rommi was a poet coach to the film’s young poets in their lead up to competing at the 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.

Rommi is delighted to have acted as a consultant/advisor to Yemeni civil rights campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Tawakul Karman, during preparations for her speech to Parliament. Awarded a prestigious Hedgebrook Fellowship in the United States, Rommi is a grateful recipient of the Elizabeth George Award. Awarded the John Barnard Scholarship at the University of Leeds in October 2015, Rommi began a PhD by practice, in celebration of the politics of Jazz and Blues.