Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith was born in Ilford and grew up in Hertfordshire. She originally trained as a sculptor at Goldsmith’s College. Her first publication was a 30-page narrative poem ‘Edith’ about a Lancashire-born woman who eventually works for 35 years as a nanny in Glasgow but is haunted by a secret from her pre-war life that slowly unravels as the story proceeds. Smith’s first full collection, The Thistles of the Hesperides, (Flambard) is about the community of West Pilton in Scotland where Caroline lived in the 1980s when it was one of the most deprived housing estates in Europe. Using imagery and structure from Greek mythology, and direct stories from observed lives, the poet weaves a dense and dramatic tension between the harshness of reality and the lyricism of myth. Published widely in journals like Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Staple, Orbis and Stand, she has twice won prizes in the Troubadour Poetry Competition.  Smith has had work set to music, broadcast on the BBC and is also the author of a musical play, The Bedseller’s Tale, that was performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Her most recent poetry collection The Immigration Handbook (Seren, 2016) is the fruit of Caroline's career as an Immigration Caseworker in London. 


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