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, four collections of poetry, a poetry pamphlet as well as a book, essays and reviews on contemporary visual arts. She has also published short fiction.

She is currently working on Famished, a project that explores the Irish Famine and how imperialism helped cause the largest refugee crisis of the 19th century. She collaborates with composer Ed Bennett and vocalist Lauren Kinsella to draw on the power of collective lament, using poetry, music and expanded singing. Read more...

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.

Cherry Smyth's debut novel Hold Still was published by Holland Park Press in 2013. Her latest poetry collection Famished, 2019, is available from Pindrop Press. Her poetry collection Test, Orange, 2012, is also available from Pindrop Press. One Wanted Thing, 2006, was published by Lagan Press (copies available from the author).

She also writes for visual art magazines: Art Monthly, Modern Painters and Art Review. She has written essays on Jane and Louise Wilson, Orla Barry, Salla Tykka, Elizabeth Magill 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.

Cherry Smyth was guest editor of Magma poetry magazine, 2012, and poetry editor of Brand Literary Magazine, 2006-2011. She 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 was appointed a Royal Literary Fellow, 2014-2016.

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


'Poems are a gift to the attentive'

Paul Celan