Smartt, Dorothea

Dorothea Smartt

Elected: 2019

Year of birth: 1963

Dorothea Smartt, literary activist, live artist, and established poet with an international reputation. Born and raised in London she is described as a ‘Brit-born Bajan international’. Her years of experience, include engagements with the British Council in Bahrain, South Africa, USA, Egypt, and Hungary. In 2013 she was keynote speaker at Barbados’ Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award. She has two full collections, Connecting Medium and Ship Shape (Peepal Tree Press). Her recent chapbook, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On, “…is subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic. Ultimately…about Black diasporic love at its most radical and life-affirming.” She is currently researching a third full collection, where she continues to rework standard narratives, this time imagining same-sex relationships and cross-gender experiences among ‘West Indian’ workers building the Panama Canal.

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Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.