‘An Island of Sirens’ | OUT NOW | Click here to buy
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is an educator, writer and poet from West Yorkshire. Her work disrupts understandings of history, race, knowledge and power; interrogating the political purpose of narratives about Muslims, migrants, gender and violence.
She is less interested in disproving the ‘truth’ of such narratives and more interested in asking what systemic violence they exist to justify. Suhaiymah works to equip herself and others with the tools to resist structural oppression by unlearning the knowledge society and the education system have instilled in us. She does this through facilitating workshops, giving lectures and performing and writing different types of work as well as campaigning and agitating.
“Manzoor-Khan’s work captivates audiences with its energetic and finely rhymed words that reflect on the political and social debate in the UK and within Asian and black communities.” Middle East Eye
Suhaiymah’s début poetry collection ‘Postcolonial Banter‘ was published by Verve Poetry Press in September 2019. She’s also contributed to ‘A FLY Girl’s Guide to University‘ (Verve, 2019) and ‘I Refuse to Condemn‘ (Manchester University Press, 2020), and hosts the ‘Breaking Binaries‘ podcast.
Nymphs & Thugs are delighted to be have signed Suhaiymah to the label as part of the ‘LIVEwire x Lockdown‘ project. This saw Suhaiymah delivering free online poetry workshops for refugees and asylum seekers. We then commissioned Suhaiymah to write her ‘An Island of Sirens’ poem in response to this group and commissioned artist Alaa Alsaraji to illustrate a video to accompany the poem.
“It’s rare to get a chance to work with a group of people of your own choosing. Having seen the rising vitriol aimed at people seeking asylum in the UK over the past few months and the dehumanising language used to bolster the hostile environment, I wanted to facilitate a space for anybody who has experienced that to write and creatively express, expel and imagine. Creativity and imagining should not be luxuries, they are necessities. I learnt so much from the workshops and was honoured by the presence of those who participated, the poem I am writing in response to theirs is trying to grapple with the multiple dehumanising narratives that people simply seeking safety are faced with.” Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan
Suhaiymah was the runner-up of the Roundhouse National slam 2017 with her viral poem, ‘This is Not a Humanising Poem‘ which gained 2 million views and was short-listed for the Outspoken Prize for Poetry in 2018. In 2018-19 she was a Nicola Thorold Fellow at the Roundhouse and is currently an Associate Artist at Bradford theatre company, Freedom Studios, 2020-21.