Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland today. To date, his poetry videos have amassed over 1 million views online.
In 2017 he was commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival to write a new poem as a “celebratory narrative” of Ireland. The resultant piece ‘My Ireland’ is accompanied by a short film by Director Myles O’Reilly, arranged and mixed by Conor O’Brien (Villagers), with music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Loah, Saint Sister, Eithne Ní Chatháin (aka Inni-K) and Ye Vagabonds. It has been viewed over 300,000 times online and was screened at London Film Festival in Trafalgar Square on March 17th. The poem was in many ways a follow on from Smith’s previous poetry video Dublin You Are, which itself clocked up in excess of 250k views.
Stephen has performed his poetry at high profile events and festivals around the world and in 2012 he was invited to perform for the Irish Olympic team in London. In October 2018 Stephen appeared on a special edition of The Late Late Show (RTE Television) live from London, where he recited his poem This Community to a TV audience of 1.1 million. Stephen has featured in several documentaries for television such as RTÉ’s IFTA Award Winning documentary WB Yeats: No Country for Old Men. He has received numerous poetry video commissions from Listowel Writer’s Week, Creative Ireland and the London Irish Centre to name but a few.
Stephen has been conducting poetry workshops in secondary schools and community groups across Ireland for a number of years. In 2018 he worked as Artist in Residence with Dunamaise Arts Centre and Laois Arts Office, where he developed the first ever Laois Spoken Word Projectfor young people in the county. In Jan – March 2019 Stephen facilitated ‘The Words That Bind Us’ cross-cultural poetry project for St. Patrick’s Festival and the Scottish Government, working with students from Trinity Comprehensive in Ballymun to develop and stage a show and exhibition in Axis Ballymun.
Stephen’s debut collection Fear Notpublished by Arlen House, was released in September 2018 and he has recently released a poetry pamphlet Hear Now. His poetry is included on the syllabus at Western Connecticut State University and his work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian.