Stephen James Smith is a poet, playwright from Dublin. He has won the Cúirt
International Literary Festival Poetry Grand Slam and numerous other
awards. His ABSOLUTE Fringe play ‘Three Men Talking About This They
Kinda Know About’ (co-written with Colm Keegan & Kalle Ryan) was
shortlisted for the Bewley’s ‘Little Gem Award 2011’.
In 2009 he proudly represented Ireland at the Vilenica
Literary Festival Slovenia and in 2010 at Wiersze w Metrze Poland.
Stephen is at the heart of poetry and spoken word in Ireland through his
organisation of The Glór Sessions a weekly event of poetry and music.
In April 2011 he was invited by Culture Ireland
to recite in the iconic Nuyorican Poetry Café New York. ‘Arise and
Go!’ his debut album with musician Enda Reilly was selected by Hot
Press as one of the best albums of 2011. In 2012 he was invited to perform
his poetry in Frankfurt, Paris and in London where he was invited
by The Irish Olympic House to perform for the Irish Olympians.
He has been translated into six languages and
published all over the globe. A regular
contributor to RTÉ Radio 1’s Arts
Show Arena he has also featured on RTÉ’s The Works. The pinnacle of his career so far has to be
reading alongside Roddy Doyle, Dermot Bolger and Seamus Heaney (well on the same TV documentary anyway).
Most importantly he likes tea, shortbread, ice-cream
and feeding the ducks in St. Stephens Green Park
Having said all that your judgment is more
"Stephen James Smith is a ball of
hydrogen gas that should be pumped into every household across the land. He
knocks seven shades of shite out of all the usual “birds and bees, whey and
cheese” nonsense you find at poetry readings" - Jinx Lennon Punk Poet
Some of the festivals he has recited are:
Dublin Writers’ Festival, Cúirt
International Literary Festival, The Electric Picnic, The Redline Book
Festival, Vilenica Literary Festival (Slovenia), Wiesze w Metrze (Poland), The
Dublin Fringe Festival, Festival of World Cultures, Spirit of Folk.
Stephen is a poet from Dublin, he is well known for his powerful recitals bringing a smile and a tear to many a person’s face. He (or should I say I given that I am writing this myself!) is not really sure what to say here, as the poems should speak for themselves but I understand the need for others to believe he your ‘work’ so I will play the politicking poetry game and list the ‘achievements’ of mine below…
So what awards have I you ask?
In 2009 I was fortunate enough to win the Cúirt Literary Festival Grand Slam (Galway), and then in 2010 I won the inaugural Writing4all Slam Final @ The Library Bar in The Central Hotel Dublin. In 2007 I was the ‘People Choice’ winner @ the I am a Lagan tour (featuring 2 time World Poetry Slam Champion Buddy Wakefield, Katie Wirsing and Andrea Gibson). I was runner up in the All Ireland Slam Final in 2008 and represented Leinster in the BBC Radio 4 Irish Slam Final 2007.
Literary Festivals: .
Some people have been kind enough to invite me to literary festivals such as: The Dublin Writers’ Festival 2010, Cúirt Literary Festival 2008 & 2009, The Electric Picnic 2007 - 2010: The Word Stage & The Arts Council Literary Tent, Vilenica 2009 (Slovenia), Wiersze & Metrze 2010 (Poland), CQAF Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2007 (Belfast), Flatlakes 2010 (Monaghan), Dun Laoighaire Festival of World Cultures 2007 - 2010, BBC Radio 4 Irish Slam Final 2007, All Ireland Live Poetry Slam Final 2008 (Limerick), All Ireland Poetry Slam Final 2010, Writing 3.0 Fingal’s Writers’ Festival 2010, Trash Culture Revue 2009 & 20010 (Cork) Béal Music & Poetry Festival 2010, Wurmfest 2009, Peace Zone Arts Festival Charleville Castle 2009 (Offaly), SoGo Festival, Knockanstockan Arts Festival 2008 – 2010 (Wicklow), Mantua 2008 (Rosscommon)
Aside from the festivals some other spaces I have recited at are: The Glór Sessions Dublin, Nighthawks @ The Cobalt, The Brown Bread Mixtape, Ó’Béal (Cork), The White House (Limerick) Poetry Smackdown (Galway), The Sinnan Sessions (Limerick), Mutant Cabaret (Cork), Rá & Tongue Box, Seven Towers, Naked Lunch, Love Poetry Hate Racism, La Cat Salon (@ The Back Loft), Rite & Recite, Poets on Fire (London), Welcome to Wormfield (London), The Winding Stairs and Poets Anonymous.
Bamboo Sessions, Ruby Sessions, Zodiac Sessions, Apollo Sessions, Sunday Roast, Balcony TV and Bandwagon TV.
I have been published in a few places now, it is not something I have focused on too much but plan on amending that. Thus far I have been lucky to be published here: Punt Magazine, Baby Beef Heart, Humanize (USA & Spain), Speech Therapy, Air Beletrina (Slovenia), Emergency Verse (UK) and UpStart. My first collection will be out in the not too distant future titled ‘Pretending to be Happy?’.
So far I have been translated into Irish, Polish, Slovenian and Spanish.
Western Connecticut State University: Rather bizarrely to me, Professor Jeanne Iris Lakatos from the Department of English, Writing,Linguistics and,Creative Process chose to included two of my poems on the syllabus the poems are, ‘How is She?’ and The Gardener’.
NUI Maynooth: In December 2010 I was the guest of the Literary and Debating Society, where I was asked to judge a Slam Poetry competition and perform also.
Trinity College Dublin. In 2009 I was invited to do a reading as part of a college festival to highlight mental health.
I have had features wrote about me in The Irish Times, The Examiner, The Herald, The Cork Echo, The Munster Express, The Metro, The Dubliner, Cavan Living and The Ticket.
I have been on a few stations now for a chat about poetry, RTÉ Radio 1 Arena Arts Show, Newstalk, Near 90fm, Cork’s 96fm, Dublin South 93.9fm, Liffey Sounds 96.4fm, Live Ireland internet radio, WDAR 96fm and Radio Tallaght 99.1fm
I have featured on a few CD’s, being: Jinx Lennon’s National Cancer Strategy, Nighthawks Oxfam EP2, The Brown Bread Mixtapes ‘Best of the Batch 2010’ The Best of The International Bar Open Mic.
Music & Poetry CD
Currently I am working with Enda Reilly making an eight track CD of old Irish poetry put to music, it is due for release in 2011 and features Colm Ó’Snodaigh of Kila.
Since 2007 I have been conducting Spoken Word and Slam Poetry workshops all over Ireland, this has been great fun and the students help to keep your feet on the ground!
The Glór Sessions:
In 2009 I started The Glór Sessions Dublin’s only weekly night of poetry and music, since then it has grown rapidly and is at the heart of spoken word and poetry in Dublin. It has seen some top poets and musicians from Ireland and beyond grace it’s intimate settings.
"Steve’s poems thrill me, energise me, and delight me. Truth rings crystal clear. Don’t stop Steve. Don’t stop." Pat Ingoldsby
"Stephen Smith is a ball of hydrogen gas that should be pumped into every household across the land. He knocks seven shades of shite out of all the usual “birds and bees, whey and cheese” nonsense you find at poetry readings. He sounds like he's walking into a forest full of energy vampires blindfolded with a lightsabre swinging in his hand, they might wound him but he ain't going down without a good fight." Jinx Lennon