|Seni Seneviratne is a writer, poet, performer, singer and creative artist born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire and of English and Sri Lankan heritage. Her work as a poet and live artist has been praised particularly for the unique talent of engaging an audience through poetry and song. Her poetry is published in the UK, Denmark, Canada and South Africa.
Seni published her first collection, Wild Cinnamon Winter Skin (Peepal Tree Press) which offered a poetic landscape echoing themes of migration, family, love and loss and reflecting her personal journey as a woman of mixed heritage. One of the poems from this collection was highly commended by the judges in the Forward Poetry Prize 2007. The collection was praised by Professor Ramey (California State University, Los Angeles) as “a virtual master class between covers which represents two decades of commitment to poetic craft…..The poet’s vision is given over with consistent generosity and empathy towards the human spirit, to a glorious populace of individuals… whose lives will be permanently commemorated with respect, dignity and affection through the poems in this collection.”
|In 2007, she was one of six poets commissioned to respond to the bi-centenary of the Parliamentary Act of 1807 to abolish the slave trade. The work was showcased in Yorkshire and then taken on a US tour. Her commissioned piece, ‘Sitting for the Mistress’, was inspired by a painting in the National Gallery and is written in the voice of the black child “servant” of the Duchess of Portsmouth. A re-edited version of this was published in September 2010 in a Bloodaxe anthology that showcased the outcomes of The Complete Works programme, a two year programme for which she was selected in 2008.
Seni Seneviratne has been supporting survivors of trauma and abuse since the early eighties, in a voluntary capacity, as an educationalist, a trainer and since 2001 as a qualified psychotherapist. She is particularly interested in the relationship between therapeutic healing and creative/expressive arts.