“It is an honour and an unexpected privilege to be nominated for this prestigious post” said Enid Smyth, recently named writer in residence for 13, Limes Avenue, Norbiton. Although there have been state subsidised writers' residencies in prisons, factories airports and even libraries, it is the first time a writer's residency has been created in a writer's actual residency. The post includes creating and curating diverse forms of writing related to the South London family household, and it comes with a grant from the Arts Council of £10,000.
Mrs Smyth, best known for her classic series of “notes left in the kitchen” says the money will give her the much needed time to polish her craft. Yet many see her as an already established creator. Works like “Whoever left the kitchen in this mess better clear it up before I get home from work other wise there’ll be hell to pay, Mum xx PS is it football tonight?” have been hailed by the Poet Laureate for their directness and sense of intimacy.
Her “Notes to the Milkman” series, including the now famous “Dave I think that last low fat yog was off or it may have been cos I left it on the step and Wednesday was quite hot” are on the GCSE poetry syllabus.
Some of the manuscript originals of Enid Smyth’s shopping lists have already commanded attention, not only as literary narratives, but as full blown artworks in their own right. Her “See if you can get them Marshmallows like what we had at Vera’s Sat’day,” (purple felt tip on torn British Gas bill envelope, 2012) is expected to fetch a five figure sum when it goes under the hammer at Christie's next week.