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Seni Senivratne is an extraordinary lady who is able to combine many different roles with a great deal of success. Not only is she a multifaceted creative artist: a poet, performer, singer and a visual artist, but she is also an activist, a qualified psychotherapist and an educationalist. Seni lives in Sheffield, a city in Yorkshire in the North East of England, and is of English and Sri Lankan heritage. Her poetry has been published in the UK, Denmark, Canada and South Africa.
Seni´s first published collection was Wild Cinnamon Winter Skin (Peepal Tree Press, 2007) which offers a poetic landscape echoing themes of migration, family, love and loss and reflecting her personal journey as a woman of mixed heritage. Recently, she published her second collection The Heart of It (Peepal Tree Press, 2012) with which she was able to create something beautiful out of a time in her life that had been very difficult and challenging for her.
For Seni, the personal and the political are very much intertwined, however, and through her poetry she wants to engage people´s hearts as well as their minds with the issues with which she contends. These issues vary widely from childhood obesity, to the impact the war in Afghanistan has had on its veterans, to a sense of longing for a loved one you have lost. Seni qualified as a psychotherapist due to her commitment to working with people who´d experienced trauma, including domestic violence, and her strongly-held belief in the possibility of healing influences all of her poetry. Her message is, therefore, essentially an optimistic one: the human realm may be littered with trauma and disappointment, but creative actions can help us to liberate ourselves when we encounter them.
You can find out more about Seni and her work by visiting her website.
Claire Hart has two great loves: art and communication. She enjoys communicating about art. Breaking down and exploring barriers to communication is how she earns her living. She lives her life partly in German and partly in English, but always in colour.