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Sascha Akhtar
--: Biography of Sascha Akhtar :--


Sascha Akhtar is a poet and filmmaker. Sascha Akhtar was born in Pakistan. She is a freelance journalist, poet & art photographer. Her journalistic specialization is in writing from the subcontinent in English. She has interviewed Mohsin hamid, Mohammed Hanif, Nadeem Aslam Tarun J Tejpal amongst others.

She has read at Harvard University, and most recently at the Troubadour in London, the Southbank Centre as part of the Poetry International Festival 2008 and at Colpitts Poetry in Durham. In 2003 she received a fellowship from the Creative Writing department at UMASS Amherst in America.

Her collection The Grimoire of Grimalkin was published by Salt publishing in November 2007 the publication of her book on SALT, the world's largest independent literary publisher, she has become the first Pakistani woman writing in English to be published in the Western avant-garde tradition. The book has been called "a contemporary masterpiece"

Her work has appeared in Stimulus Response, The London Magazine,Trespass magazine, Skald magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Annetna Nepo, and Can We Have Our Ball Back. She was recently interviewed by the London Magazine and in 2008 was named as one of the top twelve to watch in the Guardian,,2281914,00.html . Her work is also available to hear on Poetcasting and is in brand new (as of June 2009) poetry collections 'Sama Ghazal Salaam UK' and a Shearsman anthology of UK women's avant garde poetries coming out in 2010. In December 2008 she was part of Double Visions: Art and Poetry at the Caroline Wiseman gallery along with the art of Eileen Cooper, Tracey Emin, David Hockney and the poetry of Apollinaire, Annie Freud, ee cummings amongst many other luminaries. She is also the co-producer of the successful La Langoustine Est Morte reading and performance series in London promoting international poetics.

Her book is available internationally on Amazon.

Review quote: Sascha Akhtar's Grimoire of Grimalkin, a contemporary masterpiece, is appropriately titled, for it is indeed a textbook of magic and there is certainly something feline but devilish about the voice we hear. This modern-day Liber de occulta philosophia reads like a wassail of honey meade distilled through concepts, as is when we read that "Egalité sounds like a burp" (p. 9). The magic this grimoire offers to der Zauberlehrling is that of words themselves, spells for spelling the world anew, for divining the words that lie beneath the surface, for summoning communication where it is not: "She loves him / this dead man / girlfriend tells / stories in French / subtitled in Vietnamese" (p.13). This work by a master smith is written in language-not in a language, but in language. The scurrying of energies that carry the reader along communicate to the reader in their very inter-communication with each other. The spell lasts from beginning to end. Read it.

Phillip John Usher, Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University


. Ana-el-Haqq 
. The Sea and Medusa


. MFA, MFA Program for Poets & Writers (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) 
. BA, Bennington College,


. Guest Editor of New Loop. 
. Journalism:

Alternative London

. La Langoustine Est Morte 
. Features and Reviews

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