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portrait of Sascha Aurora Akhtar

Sascha Aurora Akhtar

Sascha Aurora Akhtar originates from Pakistan, and was educated there and in the USA. Her debut poetry collection, The Grimoire of Grimalkin, was published in 2007 and greeted as “a contemporary masterpiece”, with the British newspaper The Guardian naming Akhtar one of the top twelve poets to watch.

About her own work, she says: "As a child I was obsessed with language. I read dictionaries for fun, and loved to record myself on my uncle's 'dictaphone,' reading out poetry. The poetry available to me was what I now call the 'Dead White Man' phenomenon in poetry. So those were my roots. Many of the things I have always loved are still found in my poetry, such as alliteration, soundscapes and musicality. What is new though is space and breath. I often apply principles of painting to my poems. Such as layering, 'negative space,' and shapes”

Poems translated by Sascha Aurora Akhtar