ILX10: afshan d’souza-lodhi

Meet afshan d’souza-lodhi, a rising star of UK writing.

afshan d’souza-lodhi was born in Dubai and forged in Manchester. She is a writer of scripts and poetry. Her work has been performed and translated into numerous languages across the world. Her debut poetry collection re:desire (Burning Eye Books) was longlisted for the Jhalak Prize.

afshan is currently a BAFTA BFI Flare mentee. She received The National Theatre’s Peter Shaffer award and was also on the Warner Bros Discovery Writers Access programme. A TV pilot she wrote called Chop Chop, was selected for the #MuslimList (The Black List). Last year, afshan was the first writer-in-residence for Bluebird Pictures.

Instagram/X @afshandl

Website

ILX 10: Rising Stars of UK Writing

The ILX10 is NCW’s selection of ten exciting, dynamic, and thought-provoking early-career writers based in the UK whose work has the powerful potential to speak to and engage with global literary audiences. It forms part of a three-year programme called the International Literature Exchange.

 

 

Find out more

Reviews

‘The language of poetry has many voices. Afshan’s is melodic, powerful, mixing English with her mother tongue in a harmony of verses.’ — Dr SuAndi, OBE

‘A beautiful and poignant collection that speaks to the internal lives of British people of colour.’ — Nikesh Shukla, author of The Good Immigrant and The One Who Wrote Destiny

‘In [re:desire], afshan d’souza-lodhi’s fiery and evocative retelling of the desi woman’s experience, she touches on the distance between mothers and daughters through language, the yearning for love and pleasure, along with the constant pressure that is put on South Asian women.’ — Nikita Gill, author of Wild Embers

 

 

Writers I admire

Rosie Garland, Jennifer Makumbi, Desiree Reynolds

Are ‘tender’ and ‘sharply political’ opposites in your writing?

Even when I don’t write about politics directly, even when I write about joy and explore the tenderness that love and desire can bring to the world, I am being political. To not write about the ailments of the world, to ignore the atrocities, is then a political act.

Noor Hindi in the poem ‘Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, My People Are Dying’ writes: ‘I want to be like those poets who care about the moon’. I have the privilege of not living in a war zone, of not living through a genocide and so I can write whole poems on the moon or about mangoes or about love and desire. But I also have the responsibility to write the world as it stands so that we may work through the issues together. I do this mainly through writing that brings joy, writing that makes people laugh before making them cry, making their belly hurt before forcing them to investigate their own ethical compass that leads them to have conversations with family, and friends about morality; about the state of the world; about their own complicity. I don’t believe for a second that my writing will change the world, but I hope it pushes at least one person into action.

The International Literature Exchange is a programme from National Centre for Writing, supported by the British Council and Arts Council England.

 

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