Cherry Smyth BA, MA

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Cherry Smyth has been teaching creative writing part-time at the University of Greenwich since 2003. For five years, she was co-editor of Brand Literary Magazine, which profiled both student and public writers and was produced on campus. In that time she has published two poetry collections: One Wanted Thing (Lagan Press, 2006) and Test, Orange (Pindrop Press, 2012), and one novel, Hold Still (Holland Park Press, 2013). The novel develops her interests in art history and chronicles a period in the life of the 19th century model and muse, Joanna Hiffernan, who worked with James Whistler and Gustave Courbet. Cherry was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at University of East London 2014-16 and is currently an Advisory Fellow for the Fund.  She has recently been commissioned to write a post-punk, feminist libretto.

Responsibilities within the university

Senior Lecturer, Creative Writing

Awards

  • Hawthornden Fellowship
  • 2010: Bundanon Writing Residency, Australia
  • 2010: Camac Writing Residency, France
  • 2010: Can Serrat Residency, Spain
  • 2010: Commended in the National Poetry Competition
  • 2010: Commended in the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Competition
  • 2009: Arts Council Writing Award
  • 2008: Commended in the Writers Inc Long Poem Category Award
  • 2008: Writing Residency at Chateau de Lavigny, Switzerland
  • 2007: Third Prize in The London Writers' Competition
  • 2006: Runner-up in the Tonbridge Poetry Prize

Recognition

  • 2019: A poem from Cherry's Famished was chosen for the Poetry Jukebox at the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum, Dublin, supported by UNESCO Dublin City of Culture
  • 2013: Curator of Limber: spatial painting practices at University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury
  • 2012: Poetry editor, Magma magazine
  • 2007-11: Editorial Director, Brand Literary Magazine
  • 2006-08: Member of Editorial Board of Axis Arts.

Research / Scholarly interests

Cherry Smyth is interested in creating and reading poetry that is tautly written, emotionally powerful and intellectually resonant. Her influences include Wislawa Szymborksa, Hélène Cixous, Anne Carson and Louise Glück. She is fascinated by the hybridity between narrative lyricism and experimental poetic practices. In her prose work, she has also explored the question of feminist subjectivity for the female muse and the drive and diligence necessary for the artist to become herself. Her prose is influenced by JM Coetzee, Colm Toibin, Lydia Davis and Clarice Lispector.

Key funded projects

Cherry Smyth was part of the RAE-funded cross-genre project, which culminated in a 'Test in Context' symposium at London's South Bank Centre as part of the London Literature Festival in July 2010 where Cherry presented her poetry-performance monologue, User Error. Other artists and writers who took part included Howard Barker, Oreet Ashery and Uriel Orlow.

Cherry spent several months developing her research methods by researching the theme of hypochondria and wove the theoretical aspect into her writing in a way that challenged and changed her literary process. She also worked with a theatre director for the first time and broke the vocal habits of her poetic recital, opening up her mode of address to include a wider theatre and live art audience. This collaboration enabled her to reframe her voice, her written text and to embody the text in such a performative way that provided an important vehicle for the hypochondrical text. She also incorporated visual images into her performance which is a direction Cherry has wanted to take for some time, allowing the cross-genre aspects of the project to become more fully realised.

Recent publications

Article

Smyth, Cherry and , (2020), In conversation: Emer Lyons and Cherry Smyth. Cardiff University. In: , , , . Cardiff University, The Cardiff Review (March) (doi: https://www.cardiffreview.com/post/2020/03/30/in-conversation-emer-lyons-and-cherry-smyth/).

Smyth, Cherry and , (2019), To not die of history. In: , , , . , The Long Poem magazine, Autumn (22) (doi: http://longpoemmagazine.org.uk/issues/issue-twenty-two/).

Book

Smyth, Cherry and , (2019), Famished. Pindrop Press. In: , , , . Pindrop Press, Glasgow (1st) . ISBN: 9781999355920 (doi: http://www.cherrysmyth.com/famished.htm).

Smyth, Cherry and , (2013), Hold Still. Holland Park Press. In: , , , . Holland Park Press, London, UK (1st) . ISBN: 9781907320361 (doi: ).

Smyth, Cherry and , (2013), Hold still. Holland Park Press. In: , , , . Holland Park Press, London, UK . ISBN: 9781907320361 (doi: ).

Conference item

Smyth, Cherry and , (2019), Symposium: Uses of Lament: The Irish Famine and Legacies of Trauma. In: Uses of Lament: the Irish Famine & Legacies of Trauma, Thursday, 7 February 2019, Stephen Lawrence Gallery , . , (doi: http://www.cherrysmyth.com/famished-symposium.htm).

Installation

Smyth, Cherry , Kinsella, Lauren, Bennett, Ed (2019), Famished, a performance with poetry, vocals and musical score, in collaboration with vocalist Lauren Kinsella and composer Ed Bennett. Pindrop Press. In: Famished, 7 February - 16 June 2019, Debuted at the Stephen Lawrence gallery, University of Greenwich (7 February 2019), culminating at the Belfast Literature Festival (16 June 2019) , . Pindrop Press, (doi: https://vimeo.com/337775695)

Play

Smyth, Cherry and , (2020), 'Evensong' poem by Cherry Smyth, set to music by composer Laura Snowden and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In: Blow Your Trumpets, July 7, 2019, St Pancras Church, London , . , (doi: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07znjf3)