Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel's picture
Photo credit: 
anaventures
1992
Biography: 

Nisha Patel is an award-winning Indo-Canadian poet & artist. She is the City of Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, and the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion. She is a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. Nisha has performed across Canada and the world, from Glasgow to Seoul. Her poetry speaks to themes of race, feminism, and identity, focusing strongly on her struggles and triumphs as a woman of colour. She strives to build strong relationships, mentorship, and opportunities for artists around her, believing in the possibility and forgiveness of the Edmonton arts scene. Nisha is an alumnus of the University of Alberta School of Business. Nisha works to further her goal of building a stronger artistic community through living in her truth.

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

I read poetry in class and through online writing websites like Fictionpress. I didn't enjoy writing poetry as I found it challenging and was limited in my understanding of the creativity and depth of the form. I didn't enjoy poetry until I left high school and university. There are no poems that truly stick out to me, and it wasn't until I was in my twenties that I rediscovered a deep love of the art form. 

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I started writing poetry at the age of 22 at the end of business school at the University of Alberta. I didn't consider myself a poet until I was being featured in my first shows and attended my first national competition, but after that it was hard to turn back to not being a poet anymore. 

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

A poet's job is to reflect the truth of their experience and of the times that they live in, either through reimagining themselves or being unforgivingly honest. 

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

I think I would choose to memorize Canisia Lubrin's work, if only to help with my own writing. Her voice can't be imitated, but her words are powerful enough to stay in my mind and I think that having strong literary influences improves the work around it, including my own. 

Publications: 
Title: 
I See You
Publisher: 
Self-Published
Date: 
2020
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Limited Success
Publisher: 
Glass Buffalo Publishing
Editors: 
Matthew Stepanic
Date: 
2019
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Water
Publisher: 
Glass Buffalo Publishing
Editors: 
Matthew Stepanic
Date: 
2017
Publication type: 
Book