Writing & Literature



My writing is a study of migration, movement, and belonging that explores the mobility of place and status. As a white immigrant with biracial children, my work asks questions about identity. How is acceptance achieved? How do internal and external perceptions contribute to our identity? What other forces do identities depend upon? My move from a working- class Manchester estate to middle-class Viennese city life leaves me with questions about class and social mobility. What does it mean to belong to a certain class and what factors determine it? How much depends upon self- identification, and how much upon cultural capital? Probing these topics through the mediums of performance poetry and prose, I use music and language to highlight issues commonly associated with diaspora. My ideas on identity are developed by combining my native Manchester tongue with characters based in both the UK and mainland Europe. The multimedia form my work occupies becomes a bridge between the internal and external, questioning perception and identification through both lenses.

Exceprt from ‘Quiz is Quiz’

‘Question seven: In which year did the aviator, Amelia Earhart go missing when attempting to become the first woman to complete a circumnavigational flight of the globe?’
This is a good one. Arash has always been fascinated by aeroplanes. He used to go to the airport pub next to the runway when he was little. He’d pull his binoculars and an aeroplane checklist from his pocket while his dad supped pints and kept his eye out for any single mums. His heart still races when he thinks of their roaring engines rushing by. Their wheels like twigs under their vast aluminium bodies. His favourite was KLM. The light blue paint draped over their fuselages like capes. White bellies that hovered over the ground as they crept towards take-off position. He’d talk to them as they went by. Their glass-paned eyes looked down on him as he prepped them for their journey. He’d ask them if they’d ensured all the passenger’s seatbelts were correctly fastened and their bags stowed away in the overhead compartment before sending them off down the runway. He’d grip the chain-link fence as they escaped into the grey Manchester sky. Arash smirks at the idea of a plane’s anatomy. Wings for arms; the pilots, a human brain behind those glass-paned eyes; the two sheets of metal that protrude from its tail are feet. Does that mean that the back wheels are its testicles? Maybe the third wheel is its penis, but that’s on its neck. He laughs.