Corridor of Light
In summer 2021, Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University co-commissioned Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Andrew McMillan and Reshma Ruia to write new poems inspired by their memories and associations with Oxford Road. MLF and MPL also commissioned Modify Productions to produce short films capturing the poets performing their work on location. The films were showcased at Manchester Poetry Library from 21-23 October 2021 for the inaugural Corridor of Light.
You can download the text of Hafsah, Andrew and Reshma's poems above and watch films of them performing their poems on location below and on the MLF Vimeo Channel.
Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a Manchester-based poet, playwright & producer. Her debut poetry collection, The Celox and The Clot, was published by Burning Eye Books and she was a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow in 2019. Her play Cuts Of The Cloth was commissioned for PUSH Festival 2019 and she has worked creatively with Manchester International Festival, Ballet Black Ldn, HOME, ANU Productions Irl, the Imperial War Museum and the National Festival Of Making in collaboration with Luke Jerram. She is also founder and Creative Director of the Poetry Health Service – a free digital service providing poetry panaceas as a tool for connection and healing with over 80 contributing poets.
Andrew McMillan is the author of three poetry collections. His debut, physical, was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award, an Eric Gregory Award and a Northern Writers’ award. His second, playtime, won the inaugural Polari Prize and was a Poetry Book of the Year in The Sunday Times. His third collection, pandemonium, was published recently to wide acclaim.
Reshma Ruia is a poet, novelist and co-founder of The Whole Kahani, a collective of British South Asian Writers. Her first novel, Something Black in the Lentil Soup, was described in The Sunday Times as ‘a gem of straight-faced comedy’ and her second novel manuscript, A Mouthful of Silence, was shortlisted for the SI Leeds Literary Prize. Her debut collection of poetry, A Dinner Party in the Home Counties, won the 2019 Debut Word Masala Award and her debut collection of short stories, Mrs Pinto Drives to Happiness, is published this Autumn. Born in India and brought up in Italy, Reshma’s writing portrays the inherent preoccupations of those who possess a multiple sense of belonging.