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writer / translator / also teacher

Represented by Ludo Cinelli at Eve White Literary Agency

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Debut novel PORTRAITS AT THE PALACE OF CREATIVITY AND WRECKING to be published by John Murray Originals on 20 June 2024.


(Pre-order here.)

(Launch events here.)

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On Portraits at the Palace of Creativity and Wrecking:

“A kaleidoscopic and beguiling novel, where the meaning of language itself is refracted back to the reader through a funhouse mirror. A singular and thrilling debut that shows what happens when objective truth and meaning are drowned in the shifting river of history and politics.”


- Andrew McMillan, Eric Gregory Award-winning poet and author of Pity and playtime

“Intimate, intricate, and ultimately irresistible. Smith’s unforgettable style builds a political–personal narrative that resounds to the drumbeat of resistance and rebellion.”


 - Ruby Cowling, author of This Paradise, Longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020

“Eloquently oblique and profoundly empathetic, dredging up meanings from under the river that runs over undesired histories. Han Smith slides round the side of the unsayable by turning language over to its silver side.”


 - Selby Wynn Schwartz, author of After Sappho, Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022

“Like being in a hall of mirrors where you think you’ve caught Smith’s eye but it’s just a reflection. When something slips into view between the glass, you get that uncanny feeling you’re staring back at yourself. A mysterious quest of excavation.”


- Jen Calleja, Booker International-longlisted author and translator

“A strange, intriguing and creepy tale from an exhilarating new voice in fiction.”


- Camilla Grudova, Women’s Prize-longlisted author of Children of Paradise

“Written with a poetry as defamiliarising as it is rich, Portraits at the Palace of Creativity and Wrecking is an insightful, affecting and assured debut.”


- Oisín Fagan, author of Nobber and Hostages

"Arrests and intrigues... What an extraordinary achievement."

- Adam Zmith, Winner of the Polari First Book Prize 2022

Other work

Stress test published in Five Dials

High-altitude sadness in collaboration with Xavier Mas Craviotto at the 2023 European Poetry Festival

Gedichtfrage 1 von 7 in collaboration with Hannah Bründl at the 2022 European Poetry Festival

Mängelexemplare published in In the past the future was better (Cipher Press)

I am trying to explain these marks here precisely in collaboration with David Spittle at the 2021 European Poetry Festival

The product ITSELF can be contaminated in collaboration with Ana Seferović at the 2021 European Poetry Festival

Via del Tramvai longlisted and published in 2020 Brick Lane Bookshop Prize

Shortlisted for 2020 Bridport Prize (short story)

Periferia longlisted for 2020 UEA New Forms Award

Б is for Baikonur published in Untitled: Voices II

Helgoland / Flügge longlisted for 2020 Desperate Literature Prize

2019/2020 London Writers Award for Periferia / Castle Wynd  (novel)

Han's myth published in Perverse Magazine

A history of the world (with wall-to-wall mirror) highly commended in 2019 Interpreter's House poetry competition

Mängelexemplare shortlisted for 2019 Creative Future Writers' Award

Cutlery in collaboration with Kirsten Irving at the 2019 Torriano Camarade, London

Adopt a vortex, LossLit Magazine

Szelfmagot (in collaboration) for Hungarian Lit Night – Tributes to Attila József at the Hungarian Cultural Centre, London

Periferia shortlisted for 2018 Mslexia & Galley Beggar Press Novella Prize

Fragments of mirror, possibly belonging to at Literaturhaus am Inn, Innsbruck


A pigeon/poetry collaboration with Frank Ruf at SJ Fowler's European Poetry Festival, London

Bodies are not us & collaboration with Iris Colomb at Writers' Centre Kingston / Museum of Futures Visual Literature Exhibition, London

Errorgardens (for Ingeborg Bachmann) at the Austrian Cultural Forum, London (Illuminations series)


Schmiedeleut’s play at Liars’ League, London

The bitting for the blade, Litro Magazine

Reproduction furniture, Litro Magazine

2017/2018 PLATFORM Bursary for Emerging Writers from Spread the Word, London

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