About Cherry Smyth

Cherry Smyth is an Irish poet and writer, born in Ballymoney, County Antrim and raised in Portstewart. She has written one novel, three collections of poetry, a poetry pamphlet as well as a book, essays and reviews on contemporary visual arts. She has also published short fiction.

Her debut poetry collection When the Lights Go Up was published by Lagan Press, 2001. Her anthology of women prisoners' writing A Strong Voice in a Small Space, Cherry Picking Press, 2002, won the Raymond Williams Community Publishing Award in 2003.

Her debut novel Hold Still, 2013, is available from Holland Park Press. Test, Orange, 2012, her latest poetry collection is available from Pindrop Press. Her previous collection One Wanted Thing, 2006, is available from Lagan Press. A poetry pamphlet, The Future of Something Delicate was published by Smith/Doorstop, 2005.

Her poems have been published in Breaking the Skin, an anthology of Irish poets, Black Mountain Press, 2002, the Apples and Snakes Anthology, Velocity, 2003, Magnetic North, The Verbal Arts Centre, 2006.

New poems have been published in various magazines including The North, The Shop, Staple, Magma and Poetry Ireland Review. She was a prize-winner in the Tonbridge Poetry Competition, 2010 and the London Writers' Competition, 2007.

Her short fiction has been published in many journals and anthologies including Blithe House Quarterly, Summer, 2006, Scealta: Short Stories by Irish Women, Telegram Books, 2006, Chroma, Queer Literary Journal, 2004, 2006, Tears in the Fence, Vol. 35, 2003, The Anchor Book of New Irish Writing, 2000, and Hers: brilliant new fiction, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1999.

She also writes for visual art magazines: Modern Painters, Art Monthly, Art Review and Circa. She has written essays on Jane and Louise Wilson, Orla Barry, Salla Tykka and Dirk Braeckman, among others. She was a visiting critic at Braziers International Art Workshop, at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Castello, Spain and at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht in 2005. She was a curatorial adviser for 'Axis' online showcase, Open Frequency in 2006. An essay on photographer Thomas Flechtner was published in a book on his work, Bloom, Lars Muller Publications, 2007.

Cherry Smyth was guest editor of Magma poetry magazine, 2012, and poetry editor of Brand Literary Magazine, 2006-2011. She is co-curated Limber: Spatial Painting Practices at the Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury, 2013.

She has been teaching writing poetry in the Creative Writing Department of the University of Greenwich since 2004. She has been appointed a Royal Literary Fellow, 2014-2016.

Her influences include Li Po, Wislawa Szymborksa, Clarice Lispector, Hélène Cixous, Anne Carson and Mark Doty.


'Poems are a gift to the attentive'

Paul Celan