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Speaking to the Shelves: in Person Creative Writing Workshop w/ Rommi Smith

by The Leeds Library


Have you always been a reader? Have you ever fancied having a go at writing creatively but haven’t yet devoted time to it? Perhaps you are an experienced writer looking for a new form to explore or need some good old-fashioned inspiration.

The Leeds Library continues its Speaking to the Shelves programme with a new series of creative writing sessions available online from the comfort of your own home (see separate ticket)or in person at the Library . Workshops cost £12. The workshop runs 1-3 pm with the option to stay from 3-4pm to receive input from the writer on how to develop your work.

When the programme’s curator Becky Cherriman asked established writers and workshop leaders to design writing activities around texts they considered part of the literary canon, she expected some surprises. The writers did not disappoint. Sign up to deepen your knowledge of a much-adored Classic, discover a book you haven’t yet read, see what we can learn from the canon and expose problems within it. Sign up to write creatively. Together you will climb onto the shoulders of these powerful giants, notebook and pen in hand.

Join author Rommi Smith for an in person creative writing workshop at the Library.

In Person Workshop Title: (in)visible ink; realising ley lines of inspiration


• Beloved by Toni Morrison

• The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

• Meantime by Carol Ann Duffy

• Everyone Knows I am a Haunting by Shivanee Ramlochan

Form: any

Note from the writer

The starting point and focus for this writing workshop are four key “haunted” texts:

In this compact, focused workshop we’re going to: translate the invisible into the visible; make the ideas and inspirations that haunt your imagination tangible; turn the spark of spirit into substance. Indeed, this workshop, in a creative sense, explores the concept of hauntology: the phenomenon of being haunted – and in the case of this workshop – by ghost-ideas and energies which are longing to be realised.

From the glimpse of a poem, to the clue of a character; the hunch of a sentence, to the outline of an image, we’re going to use these spectral starting points for new writing. Using methods including the redaction of existing texts, to the fleshing out of ley lines of inspiration, we’re going to explore the line between creative presences and absences.

Bio: Rommi Smith is an award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer and librettist. A three-time BBC Writer-in-residence, she is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer in Residence and inaugural Poet-in-Residence for Keats’ House, Hampstead. She is recipient of a Hedgebrook Fellowship (USA) and a winner of THE NORTHERN WRITERS’ PRIZE for Poetry 2019 (chosen by the poet Don Paterson). Awarded a prestigious CAVE CANEM fellowship in the US, Rommi is a SPHINX30 playwright: a prestigious programme of professional mentoring for contemporary women playwrights, led by the legendary SPHINX THEATRE.

In 2021, Rommi is writer in residence for Topfoto, the UK’s leading photographic archive.



Soundcloud: RommiSmith

Further workshops in the programme can be found here: https://www.theleedslibrary.org.uk/events

The programme is supported by funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council.

Curator Becky Cherriman is a Yorkshire writer, workshop leader and performer. She works part-time as Creative Writing Community Development Officer for The University of Leeds. Published by Seren, Mslexia, New Walk, Envoi, Mother’s Milk, Bloodaxe, Well Versed, Moving Worlds and The North, she was resident poet for Morley Literature Festival in 2013 and lead artist for Altofts Festival In A Day 2016. ‘Echolocation’, her first poetry pamphlet, and first collection ‘Empires of Clay’ were published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk and Cinnamon Press respectively. Her agnostic poem Jesus Lives was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2017.

Date and Time

Sat, December 11, 2021

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


The Leeds Library

18 Commercial Street
Leeds, England LS1 6AL United Kingdom

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