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

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

Nadine Aisha Jassat is the author of poetry collection Let Me Tell You This. Her writing and creative practice explore voice, heritage, storytelling and social justice. She features in acclaimed anthologies including Picador’s It’s Not About the Burqa, 404 Ink’s Nasty Women, Bloodaxe’s Staying Human. She has drawn significant acclaim: winning a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, the UK call for the British Council’s ‘Discover’, and shortlisted for the Outspoken Poetry Prize and the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. She has performed internationally, across media, including Big Scottish Book Club (BBC/iPlayer), and featured in Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Outriders Africa.

Nadine’s creative practice often links storytelling and social justice, working with organisations or communities to explore themes of voice, resilience, connection and expression.


‘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

‘A joy both live and on the page’ – Hollie McNish (Slug, Nobody Told Me)

‘Beautifully written, immense, and full of passion.’ – Nikita Gill (The Girl and The Goddess) on Let Me Tell You This

‘Incisive, delicate, and precise. Jassat is unflinching as she delivers lyrical gut punches that stay with you for days.’ – Nikesh Shukla (Brown Baby)

​’I adore the wise yet searching words of Nadine Aisha Jassat.’ – Sabrina Mahfouz (Smashing It)

‘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

Bibliography

Poetry Collections, Pamphlets and Anthologies (a selection)

  • feat in. Staying Human (Bloodaxe Books, 2020)
  • Let Me Tell You This (404 Ink, 2019)
  • feat in. Islands Are But Mountains: New Poetry from the UK (Platypus Press, 2019)
  • Still (Poetry Pamphlet) (Appletree Writers Press, 2016)

Narrative Non-Fiction and Fiction (a selection)

  • ‘Golden Rules,’ Swallowed by A Whale: How to Survive the Writing Life, ed. Huw Lewis-Jones (British Library Press, 2020)
  • ‘Daughter of Stories’, It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race, ed. Mariam Khan (Picador, 2019)
  • ‘Jacaranda’, DISCOVER: New Writing from the UK and Turkey (British Council Online, 2018)
  • ‘On Naming,’ Nasty Women, ed. Heather McDaid, Laura Jones, (404 Ink, 2017)
  • ‘Auntie,’ He Said, She Said, I Said, ed. Diana Hendry and Susie Maguire, (ASLS, 2017)

Film Poems (a selection)

  • ‘Mother’ (Film Poem), dir: Jinling Wu
  • ‘Hopscotch’ (Film Poem), dir: Roxana Vilk

Contact Nadine

Personal

Website

Twitter: @nadineaishaj

Instagram: @nadineaishajassat

Agent

Sophie Lambert, C&W: sophie.lambert@cwagency.co.uk

Publisher

404 Ink: Heather McDaid