Nadine Aisha Jassat

One of Jackie Kay’s selected writers for the International Literature Showcase

‘A fearless poet, who boldly takes on difficult themes, like gender-based violence, reasserting her right to speak out about those things that are often hidden from view.’ – Jackie Kay

<< Explore Jackie’s list of great BAME writers

Writer building bridges made of stories, connecting people through words.

Nadine Aisha Jassat is a poet, writer, and creative practitioner, whose work explores storytelling and social justice. She has been published widely online and in print, including in Picador’s essay anthology It’s Not About the Burqa, and 404 Ink’s Nasty Women. Her work has drawn significant acclaim: in 2018, she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers’ Award, won British Council’s Discover Project UK Open Call, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Her debut poetry collection, Let Me Tell You This, was released to great praise in March 2019 with award-winning publisher 404 Ink.

‘I adore the wise yet searching words of Nadine Aisha Jassat, she masterfully evokes the often beautiful, sometimes painful, specificity of her mixed heritage whilst invoking the universality of being a woman looking for answers to questions that shouldn’t need to be asked.’ – Sabrina Mahfouz (How You Might Know Me)

‘An important collection of poems, incisive, delicate and precise, as it interrogates the trauma of systematic and everyday racism. Jassat is unflinching as she delivers lyrical gut punches that stay with you for days.’ – Nikesh Shukla (The One Who Wrote Destiny) on Let Me Tell You This

‘I really like Nadine’s poetry. A joy both live and on the page. I love the way Nadine plays with voice and layering in her poetry. Super.’ – Hollie McNish (Plum)

‘A punchy, powerful debut collection that investigates what it means to be of dual heritage. The poems capture with real panache the secret lives of women, and they’re poignant, too.’ – Jackie Kay, Guardian, on Let Me Tell You This

‘[Let Me Tell You This] marks a brilliant addition to Scotland’s poetry landscape… As the boldness of the title suggests, a reclamation of the right to speak burns urgently at it’s core. In this way, the lyric ‘I’ acting with authority to articulate, becomes a symbolically charged terrain in its own right, gesturing beyond its graphic bounds to wider gender and racial struggles. The book negotiates a poetics of escape from reductive assumptions surrounding race and gender, and from the pre-written narratives society relentlessly seeks to impose… A musicality sings from the pages as does a playful fondness for rhyme, crafting a charming intertextual cohesion. The debut offers a fine display of ‘how to make something beautiful / something useful, from tangled yarn / and threads’, embracing rather than seeking to conceal the chaos and contradiction of identity with all its loose, unruly strands.’ – The List Magazine (February 2019)

‘I’m honoured, thrilled, and overjoyed to have been selected by Jackie Kay, and to be included in such a phenomenal showcase.’ – Nadine


Let Me Tell You This (404 Ink, 2019)

‘Daughter of Stories’, in It’s Not About the Burqa, ed. Mariam Khan (Picador, 2019)

‘On Naming’, in Nasty Women, ed. Heather McDaid, Laura Jones, (404 Ink, 2017)

‘Hopscotch’ (Film Poem), dir: Roxana Vilk

Still (Poetry Pamphlet) (Appletree Writers Press, 2016)

Contact Nadine



Twitter: @nadineaishaj

Instagram: @nadineaishajassat


404 Ink: Heather McDaid