2021 Apprentice Poet in Residence

Introducing the 2021 Apprentice Poet in Residence…

Rheima Robinson

Previous Apprentice Poets in Residence include Andrew McMillan – who went on to win the Guardian First Book Award; Eric Gregory Award winner Phoebe Power; Zodwa Nyoni – who went on to be the Channel 4 Writer in Residence at West Yorkshire Playhouse; Mark Pajak, who went on to win a Northern Writer’s Award, an Eric Gregory Award and the Bridport Prize; and most recently, 2019 joint Apprentice Poets in Residence, Shash Trevett and Genevieve Carver.

Rheima is a poet, educator and facilitator of creative writing workshops. She is the Founding Director of The Sunday Practise, a creative hub and open-mic event based in Leeds. As a poet and speaker, Rheima has appeared nationally and internationally, at The Chicago Theatre, The Nuyorican Café (NYC), The Historic Hampton House (Miami), and the UK House of Lords.

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Her poetry can be heard on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC1xtra and BBC iPlayer. She has featured in the award-winning documentary ‘We Are Poets’ and more recently in BBC Four’s ‘Rhyme and Reason’, hosted by Lemn Sissay OBE. She was one of the BBC’s First Words 2020 finalists, and her newly commissioned film with New Creatives, supported by BBC Arts, will be released in summer 2021.

As Apprentice Poet in Residence, Rheima will create a commission, run a writing workshop for aspiring writers, judge the 18-25 category of the Walter Swan Poetry Prize and participate in a mentoring session with the winner.

Rheima said “I am thrilled to be Ilkley Literature Festival’s Apprentice Poet in Residence for 2021. I get to work closely with the North’s longest-running literary festival and have the opportunity to engage new audiences. I’m also looking forward to Ian Duhig’s invaluable mentorship.”

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