The School of English is pleased to welcome Ms Saima Afreen, who will be working at the School of English until May 8th. The Charles Wallace India Trust is a scheme that allows professional writers a period of three months to work on a project of their design within selected British universities. The School of English has hosted a Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow annually since 1991.
Saima Afreen is an award-winning poet who also works as Deputy City Editor with The New Indian Express newspaper. She received ‘Writer of the Year Award, 2016’ from Nassau Community College (the State University of New York). Her poems have appeared in several Indian and international journals like Indian Literature, HCE Review, Barely South Review, The Bellingham Review, The Stillwater Review, The McNeese Review, The Nassau Review, The Oklahoma Review, Staghill Literary Journal, The Notre Dame Review, Honest Ulsterman, and Existere among others. She has been part of several literary festivals and platforms such as Sahitya Akademi Poets’ Meet, Goa Arts and Literary Festival, TEDx VNR-VJIET, Prakriti Poetry Festival, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Betty June Silconas Poetry Festival (New Jersey), Helsinki Poetry Jam (Finland) and elsewhere. She was awarded Villa Sarkia Writers Residency (Finland) for autumn 2017 where she completed the manuscript of her poetry book Sin of Semantics upcoming soon from Copper Coin Publishing.
During the three month Fellowship at the University of Kent, she will be working on a collection of poems centred around the survivors of human trafficking; flesh trade; childhood marriages; war; physical, mental, sexual, and emotional abuse. She’s met and interviewed many of them who have translated their suffering into various forms of art. She’ll also be working on a chapbook of poems focussed on the historical town of Gaya, which was a vibrant place during the Mauryan Empire but is now reduced to obscurity due to various reasons.