Seni Seneviratne, born and raised in Leeds, Yorkshire is of English and Sri Lankan heritage. Her work as a poet and live artist is widely acclaimed. She has given readings, performances and workshops in UK, Canada, South Africa, USA and Egypt. Her debut collection, Wild Cinnamon and Winter Skin, was published in March 2007 by Peepal Tree Press. In 2010 her poem Operation Cast Lead was shortlisted in the Arvon International Poetry Competition. Her next collection, The Heart of It, will be published by Peepal Tree Press in March 2012.
She has organised creative events and facilitated creative writing workshops and residences in schools, colleges and community settings working with a range of abilities (from people with basic literacy skills to MA students) and with people from a variety of experiences and backgrounds. She 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 in the NHS and in the voluntary sector. She currently works as a freelance writer, mentor, trainer and creative consultant.
In 2009 she was awarded a Travel Fellowship to fund an extended stay in Cape Town where she met and interviewed South African poets about the relationship between poetry and trauma and did a range of voluntary work including collaboration with a visual artist in weekly workshops to build self esteem of residents at a shelter for abused women and writing sessions with Whole World Women Association, an organization that works with refugee communities in Cape Town. As a result of this work she was invited to present a paper, ‘Speaking the Unspeakable, The Poetry of Witness’, at an international conference ‘Beyond Reconciliation’ hosted by the University of Cape Town.