Head to the stunning surrounds of 254-year-old The Leeds Library for one of Leeds’ leading poetry nights – now on its 18th instalment, this month is the last Chelping helping (sorry) of the year, and welcomes guest readers Cecilia Knapp and Rommi Smith, alongside the open mic hosted by poet Matt Abbott.
This month is the last Chelping helping (sorry) of the year, and welcomes guest readers Cecilia Knapp and Rommi Smith, alongside the open mic hosted by poet Matt Abbott.
Previous Chelping headliners have included renowned performers such as TS Eliot Prize winner Joelle Taylor and Helen Mort, shortlisted in the Forward Prizes 2022 with her third poetry collection The Illustrated Woman. Anthony Anaxagorou, Toby Campion and Matthew Hedley Stoppard have also read at the night, as have Jess Green, Theresa Lola and Sabrina Mahfouz.
Cecilia Knapp is a poet and novelist and the Young People’s Laureate for London 2020/21. She is on the shortlist for the 2022 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. She is the winner of the 2021 Ruth Rendell award and has been shortlisted for both the Rebecca Swift Women’s Prize and the Outspoken Poetry Prize. She curated the anthology Everything is Going to be Alright: Poems for When you Really Need Them, published by Trapeze in 2021. Her debut novel Little Boxes is published by The Borough Press and her debut poetry collection Peach Pig was published by Corsair Books on 6 October.
Dr Rommi Smith is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer, scholar and Cave Canem Fellow. Winner of numerous prestigious residencies and commissions from institutions ranging from the British Council to the BBC, Rommi is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer-in-Residence and inaugural Poet-in-Residence for Keats’ House, Hampstead. She is winner of the Northern Writers Prize for Poetry and you might have just spotted her in conversation with artist Charmaine Watkiss at Leeds Art Gallery.
Matt Abbott is a poet, educator and activist from Wakefield. His debut poetry collection Two Little Ducks was published by Verve Poetry Press in 2018 and includes poems from his one-man show, which earned a string of 5* reviews at Edinburgh Fringe 2017 and on a 2018 UK theatre tour. His kids’ poetry collection A Hurricane In My Head was published by Bloomsbury in 2019 and was a National Poetry Day selected title. He formed Nymphs & Thugs, the UK’s leading spoken word record label, in 2015, and he fronts indie outfit Skint & Demoralised. What’s more, he runs the regular Farsley night Tubthumping and notable commissions include TV ads for Nationwide Building Society and Leeds United FC’s centenary kit launch.