Sascha Aurora Akhtar’s poetry has been widely anthologised, translated and performed internationally at festivals such as the Emirates Festival of Literature 2022, Poetry International Festival Rotterdam, Avantgarde Festival Hamburg and Southbank Centre’s MELTDOWN festival London curated by Yoko Ono.
Akhtar has been part of political poetry protests — Against Rape (Peony Moon, 2014) and Solidarity Park Poetry — Poems for the Turkish resistance (Ed. 2014). Solidarity Park Poetry was a project set up with poet Nia Davies and holds a permanent space of 60 protest poems curated by Sascha and Nia from global poets in solidarity. Akhtar was part of the seminal Catechism: Poems For Pussy Riot anthology supported by English Pen. Her poems were translated into Polish to be included in a zine distributed on a day of Women’s Protest in Poland. Her work was also part of The Chicago Review’s #MeToo protest edition.
Akhtar has authored six metaphysical poetry collections with Salt UK, Shearsman UK, Contraband UK, Emma Press, Knives, Forks & Spoons Press & ZimZalla UK.
The first, The Grimoire of Grimalkin (SALT UK, 2007) was called ‘a contemporary masterpiece,’ by the Chair of the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture at New York University, Phillip John Usher.
Akhtar is a Poetry School London Tutor and lecturer at the University of Greenwich. She has been a judge for the Streetcake Prize for Experimental Writing for 2019 and 2020. Her custom-made course Breaking Through Writer's Block has been published by The Literary Consultancy, London as part of #BeingAWriter .
In 2019, Poetry Wales named Poems For Eliot as the number one poem of the last five years and Only Dying Sparkles was featured on the Southbank Poetry Library acquisitions & at the University of Leeds Poetry By Design Exhibit in the same year.
Akhtar continues to develop as a creative force, having recently published a prose collection set in the country of her birth, Pakistan. The collection Of Necessity And Wanting published on October 14th, 2020 is a study of the economics of want and the politics of need in a post-colonial environment.
2022 should see her book of translations of pioneering feminist fiction writer Hijab Imtiaz coming out with Oxford University Press, India. Akhtar’s fiction has appeared in Storgy, The Learned Pig, Tears In The Fence, BlazeVox, Anti-Heroin Chic, Queen Mob’s Teahouse and The Fortnightly Review. Latest writings appear in the Prototype Annual 4, Cut-Purse (Tangerine Press, 2022) and Of Myths and Mothers anthology 2022.
Akhtar is an ACE-supported artist having received the #DYCP grant both in 2018 and in 2020. In 2019, her poems appeared in the Blackpool illuminations.
F: @ChoisirLeMotJuste Tw: @AkhtarSascha
Links: How Sascha Akhtar Writes A Poem: https://poetrywales.co.uk/sascha-a-akhtar-on-how-she-writes-a-poem/ Poetry International #MeToo, The Chicago Review
Interviews 2020 and 2021 With Matthew Haigh With Babel Board