I was born and raised in a quiet little town in Lancashire and then life took me to the buzzing city of Manchester where I became a writer. I also completed the MA in Creative Writing at MMU under the excellent supervision of Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage. Manchester is my creative home, where organisations like Commonword have provided me with a platform.
I have been writing in my head since childhood, having put pen to paper in 1999 and then seriously started writing in 2006. I taught English in the further education sector for several years and it was during my first (very intense!) teaching job that I started writing a novel, quietly, in my lunch breaks -this gave me space to recuperate before I went into the classroom again.
The main themes in my work are motherhood, childhood, mortality, spirituality, religion, the rights of women, and culture. I love reading and take inspiration from an eclectic mix of English, Panjabi, Urdu and Persian writers, both classical and modern.
My poetry has been published in various anthologies and journals. Poetry Review also published my article on the physical voice and performance in Poetry News (first published by P&H Publications in the academic book Studying Creative Writing). My most recent success is a republication of my poem ‘A Book Closer to Home’ and a forthcoming article publication in the NAWG’s Link poetry magazine.
I contribute to academic writing, bringing to light the importance of performance for all writers as well as writing articles on topical discourse in poetry.
I have a passion for languages and a keen interest in bilingualism, which led me to research Urdu, Panjabi and Persian poetry and run taster sessions. I’m a Visiting Tutor at local Universities where I run workshops in Urdu and Persian poetry for Creative Writing undergraduates and in the evening I run private English tutoring sessions for pupils aged 10-18 years and Linguistics undergraduates.
I enjoy learning and studying languages and believe that it widens and enriches my creative thinking. Last year I completed Beginners Italian and this year I am about to embark on Beginners Persian.
• Scottish Poetry Library: republication of A Book Closer to Home (August 2018)
• NAWG Link magazine: article ‘Poetry of the East in Education’ (August 2018)
• Wasafiri: poem ‘Son’ accepted for publication in future edition of magazine (tbc)
• Writers without Borders: October 2015, group anthology. Poems on Gaza, domestic violence and childhood.
• The Bolton Review: 2nd edition Feb 2015. 2 poems about Pakistan.
• Poetry News (The Poetry Society): winter 2014. Article on the physical voice in poetry performances.
• Crocus Books: Food anthology. Poem ‘Turmeric’. Nov. 2013
• P&H Partnership: Studying Creative Writing (academic book for undergraduates). Contributed a chapter ‘The Power of the Spoken Word’ Nov. 2013
• The University of London, Human Rights Commission: poem ‘The Throne’, a poem about sexual abuse, 2013
• The Poetry Review: poem ‘Visiting Time’. Dec. 2012
• Bloodaxe (2012): anthology ‘Out of Bounds’. Poems: ‘The Island in Preston’ and ‘A Book Closer to Home’
• Stand Magazine (2011) issue 196: ‘Starching’, ‘Muli ki Roti’, Midnight Orgie , ‘To Lahore’
• Paraxis 02 online magazine (October 2011): ‘A Book Closer to Home’
• Life, Death the Whole Damn Thing: Crocus Books, May 2011 ‘Black Thread’ (short story)
• Manchester Cathedral International Religious Poetry Competition 2010: ‘The Last prayer’ (runner-up)
• The Asian Writer: ‘Happy Birthday to Me’. Anthology of poetry October 2010: ‘Peshawar’
• Posters at Manchester train stations project. (August 2010): ‘Mesmerised’
• Muse 7, literary journal, Manchester Metropolitan University (June 2010): ‘Girly Gup Shup’
• The Strand International book of Poets (Summer 2010): ‘Even a Tree should not Stand Alone’& ‘One’.
• Poetry & Audience, Leeds University Press (Feb 2010): ‘Fairies, Witches & Jinn’ & ‘Billie Jean’.
Staffordshire university, Stanza group Birmingham, NAWE annual conference 2017, Nottingham Trent university (JULY 2019)
2006-2010: regularly appeared on BBC Asian Network.
29th July 2018: Brum radio – listen to the show here: https://m.mixcloud.com/BrumRadio/brum-radio-poets-with-rick-sanders-july-29072018/
• The Poetry Society & Stanza (Birmingham)
• NAWE (National Association for Writers in Education)
• NAWG (National association for Writers Groups)
• ACWE (Association for Creative Writing & Education)
• MMU Alumni Association (Manchester Metropolitan University)