The Emma Press is launching the debut collection of poems by Rakhshan Rizwan this week, to coincide with National Poetry Day.
The publisher describes the chapbook, titled Paisley, as ‘simmering with a poised, driving anger.’ The poems draw on the rich visual and material culture of the author’s home region in Pakistan, and Rizwan unpacks and offers critical comment on issues of class, linguistic and cultural identity – particularly for women – in the context of Pakistan and South Asia. The chapbook features an introduction by author Leila Aboulela.
Rizwan was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and is currently a PhD candidate at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In 2015 she was awarded the Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize by the Desi Writers’ Lounge. She is visiting the UK this week to read at events in Oxford (25th September), Birmingham (28th September) and in London (30th September, at the Poetry Book Fair).
Paisley has been praised by poet Moniza Alvi, who said: ‘Rakhshan Rizwan exposes the fragmented, fragile heart of Pakistani/South Asian culture in unflinching poems that are alive with the beauty and power of language. Hers is a transformative art and she finds startling ways of making the abstract palpable, harnessing the ghazal to fine effect. I feel as if I’ve been waiting for these poems.’
For more details about the events this week, visit the Events page.