Seni Seneviratne smiling, wearing a grey striped top and glasses
Place of birth
United Kingdom
Place of residence
United Kingdom
National identity
United Kingdom
Sri Lanka
Gender
Female

Seni Seneviratne

Short biography
Seni Seneviratne is the author of three earlier collections: Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin, The Heart of It and Unknown Soldier – a National Poetry Day Choice. Her poem, A Wider View, is featured in the AQA GCSE syllabus, and she is widely published in anthologies and magazines, including 100 Queer Poems (Penguin), The Rialto and New England Review. . She collaborates with film-makers, visual artists, musicians and digital artists, is a fellow of the Complete Works programme, and one of ten commissioned writers on the Colonial Countryside Project.

Published by Peepal Tree Press, her debut collection, Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin (2007), includes a poem, which was Highly Commended in the Forward Poetry Prize.   The Heart of It (2012), her second collection, includes her poem ‘Operation Cast Lead’ which was shortlisted in the Arvon International Poetry Competition (2010). Her third collection Unknown Soldier (2019) was a PBS Recommendation, National Poetry Day Choice and highly commended in Forward Poetry Prizes 2020.
She is widely published in anthologies and magazines, most recently: 100 Queer Poems (Penguin), Where We Find Ourselves (Arachne Press) Wretched Strangers (Boiler House Press), The Rialto and New England Review.  She collaborates with film-makers, visual artists, musicians and digital artists, is one of ten commissioned writers on the Colonial Countryside Project (a child-led writing and history project with the University of Leicester, Peepal Tree Press and the National Trust) and is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity and quality in British Poetry.
She has organised creative events and facilitated creative writing workshops and residences in schools, colleges and community settings, working across a range of abilities (from people with basic literacy skills to MA students) and with people from a variety of experiences and backgrounds. She is particularly interested in the relationship between poetry and trauma and has presented her paper, Speaking the Unspeakable through Poetry: The Search for a Place of Healing and Witness after Trauma at conferences in UK, US, South Africa and Kuwait.
In 2012 she was the poet in residence at the Ilkley Literature Festival and in 2013 she was commissioned by Aldeburgh Poetry Festival to create text in response Bill Jackson’s photographic exhibition, Dark Light.  In 2014 her film-poem, ‘Sitting for the Mistress’ was shortlisted in the Southbank Film Poem competition.   In 2016 she received an Arts Council grant to fund a collaboration with digital artist Shirley Harris to create a multi-media production, Lady of Situations, which was launched at Off the Shelf Literature Festival 2016.  
She co-edited, Out of Sri Lanka – an anthology of Tamil, Sinhala and English poetry (Bloodaxe, June 2023) with Vidyan Ravinthiran and Shash Trevett.  The book has received a PBS Special Commendation.  She is currently working on an Arts Council Funded touring project based on her book, Unknown Soldier and an LGBTQ project with Sheffield Museums entitled Queering the Archive
 

Author photo SamHardwick@Ledburypoetry 

www.seniseneviratne.com