Rommi Smith- poet, playwright, performer and John Barnard Scholar at The University of Leeds – has had a number of achievements as a PhD researcher over the course of this year.
As a Visiting Scholar at City University, New York in February 2017 Rommi delivered a lecture-as-performance. The lecture, which has now undergone a substantial written development process since it began life as a lecture, will be published by Columbia University Press in 2019. This development was undergone in consultation with Jane Plastow and other leading scholars in the US.
Following on from this visiting Scholarship in early 2017, Rommi was hosted for a second time as a Visiting Scholar from August to September. As part of this residency Rommi delivered a talk and lecture at City College New York (part of City University). Rommi will be hosted by City University once again in Spring 2018.
Rommi also contributed to a scholars' panel during this successful year. The event hosted at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at Columbia University was a celebration of Ella Fitzgeralds life and legacy. This conversation between scholars and musical artists followed a month-long series at Columbia University celebrating the centennial birthday of this Jazz icon.
Most recently, Rommi has collaborated with composer Emily Levy to produce a brand-new classical song cycle for voice and piano, The Rain is Coming. The cycle has been composed for the celebrated British Baritone, Roderick Williams OBE, who features regularly within the Proms. The song-cycle is a feminist reply to Schubert's Die schone Mullerin and received its world premiere at Stratford-Upon-Avon Music Festival on the 27th September 2017.