News, Reviews


Jan – April  Brave New Voices workshop series with English PEN & British Red Cross

Feb 19th  @ Verve Poetry Festival, Birmingham with Ruby Robinson & Luke Kennard

April 12th   Launch of The Things I Would Tell You: a Saqi anthology featuring 10 of my poems @ Waterstones Piccadilly, London @7pm.

May 15th-19th   Hull Poetry & Freedom workshop series

May 18th  My new online course begins at the Poetry School – Bending Form: An Exploration of Possibilities

June 20th  Launch of Poem International Quarterly: Women on Brexit issue @ The House of Commons, London


May 27   Where Now? a work  in progress created by Pippa Wildwood, Astrid Goldsmith, Susanna Howards and me, made its debut at Normal? The Festival of the Brain

October 8   Winchester Poetry Festival



“Shazea Quraishi’s first collection, The Art of Scratching, reveals the poet’s flair for re-imagining and feminising historical texts, and for inventing her own edgy fables of family life and childhood. This week’s poem, You May Have Heard of Me, is an allegorical coming-of-age story. While the black bear Jambavan is a significant figure in Indian epic, the bear in the poem is a parental figure, at first both nurturer and provider for his child, later internalised as a source of mature psychic identity. The poem’s title indicates that, by the end of the story, the protagonist will have become a particular force demanding to be acknowledged; that mildly ironical “You May Have Heard of Me” seems to imply “you should have heard of me”. But the character is an unnamed everywoman, too, and represents the general, ordinary, thrilling, dangerous process by which adult independence and eloquence are attained…”
Carol Rumens, Poem of the Week: the guardian

Shazea Quraishi is one of a number of younger black and Asian women poets currently gaining ground in UK poetry. In sensual, clear, perfectly measured tones, her poems meet the male gaze with a female voice. Her long poem sequence The Courtesan’s Reply (“a wonderful study of gender and expectation” – Poetry Book Society) is based on the courtesans depicted in Manomohan Ghosh’s translation of The Caturbhani – four Sanskrit monologue plays written around 300 BC. Stephen Knight… described it as “an intriguing collision between the archaeological and the lyrical”.
Katy Evans-Bush, Poetry International online

“In The Courtesans Reply, the voices of Quraishi’s young courtesans create a restless, political, erotic presentation of relationships and, while the collection chooses to keep us guessing about who’s on top, it also delights us with its restrained presentation of excess.”
John Field,
Poor Rude Lines

“Shazea Quraishi, in The Courtesans Reply, sensitively reconstructs an unfamiliar and vanished culture. Working from historical and literary sources, Quraishi never allows her research to speak louder than the human voices of her characters, a community of courtesans in Ancient India. Their individual feelings and desires emerge through lines which are simultaneously spare and sensuous.”
Richard O’Brien, Poetry London

Links to interviews & reviews:

Poem of the Week: the guardian
Poor rude lines
Poetry International Web
I don’t call myself a poet
Poetry International
British Library – Between Two World: Poetry & Translation
BBC Radio Lancashire, Desi Nation


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