Shamshad Khan

Poet & Resilience Coach


Shamshad Khan

Poet & Resilience Coach


The consistent aim of my work is to encourage and empower others through poetry and coaching. I have successfully managed and produced shows that have toured national theatres and have had an international profile with my own work.  As a facilitator and coach in writing and resilience I create spaces for individuals and communities to develop their creativity, inner strength and tools to be confident and feel powerful.


“When I first saw Shamshad Khan read her poetry I was so moved that I haven’t stopped moving yet. I prayed to the god of poetry that her work would be put into print. Deliverance is sweet.”

Benjamin Zephaniah

‘ Shamshad has shown me practical strategies and techniques to maintain and sustain well being. She is a professional, warm and encouraging coach who makes you feel that you are indeed a unique and valued individual capable of great things. I would recommend Shamshad over and over again.’

– Hafsah Aneela Bashir, writer and co-director Outside the Frame Collective, Sept 2017

“Even in lectures of 300 Shamshad is superb at involving, and challenging her audience….Although the  word ‘inspirational’ is overused in everyday life, Shamshad’s work truly does claim that status and, both on page and in person‘   

– Professor Lynne Pearce, Lancaster University


Shamshad currently offers coaching in resilience and creative writing. With a background in training for the voluntary sector and local authority – She has delivered workshops for schools, universities, community centres, and prisons.Themes covered include: “women who dare”; places and writing for performance (The Poetry School (Oct-Dec 2010). Shamshad has worked with literature and arts organisations to engage and empower communities through creative writing and inspired living workshops. She has worked closely with Cartwheel Arts and Commonword. She pioneered and ran “Hard Rain Poetry” (2009-2016) a monthly community writing workshop and poetry performance event in Levenshulme, Manchester. Shamshad was the project leader on “Different Moons” an arts and heritage project with The Horse and Bamboo puppet theatre (2015-2017).    Currently working with Insitu (Pendle) in co-facilitating plans for a BAMER artists support network (2019).

Publications include features in:

“The Firepeople” (Payback Press 1998), “Region, Writing, Home: Moving Worlds”, Leeds University 09; “TEXTILE, the journal of cloth and culture”, Berg, Nov 08; “Pakistani diasporas: Culture conflict and change”, Oxford University Press 09; “Short stories including (Comma Press).

Her solo collection “Megalomaniac” (published 2007 by salt publishing 978 – 1-84471-312-7)) set reading for Lancaster University Part 1 Literature Degree course (2007-10).  Shamshad is Co-editor of two anthologies of poetry (Crocus).

Performance work includes:

Megalomaniac– Verse theatre with live beat box and music from Jason Singh (Nitin Sawhney Sound System) and Basil Clarke.  This piece premiered at the Green Room, Manchester’s centre for new performance in 2004 and was selected for presentation at the Decibel international showcase (2005) with a UK national theatre tour (2005/06).– look for shamshad khan, Megalomaniac by Ricardo Vilela

Hard Cut– A poetic monologue with music. Selected for “National Review of Live Art”, the UK’s leading annual showcase of new contemporary performance (2002); performed for conference of women live art performers (Beurne, Switzerland 2003) and the Barcelona Literature Festival (2004); Khala Ghoda Festival (Mumbai, India 2006); Mexico City (2007).

Megalomaniac and Hard Cut directed by Mark Whitelaw.

Other performances include:

Manchester City Art Gallery 08. Lancaster University Conference Glocal Imaginaries 09; Manchester St. Anne’s church Peace Poems Sept 2010 accompanied by a choir and musician from the Manchester Consortium. Ledbury Festival 2011, Middlesborough University 2012, Leeds University 2013.

Commissions/collaborations include:

BBC Radio 3 and the Manchester Museum installation (2003-05). Arts and Business (Oct 2005), Glasgow Hidden Gardens (Nov 2005). Poetry for the Equal Opportunities Commission’s report on race and gender (2008). Domestic violence poems for Saheli Asian women’s refuge and South Manchester Law Centre (08/09). Exeter University British Asian Theatre project; Sunderland Royalty Theatre, in collaboration with Zendeh theatre company. Leeds Leider Opera and poetry 2011. Shamshad has presented programmes for BBC Radio 4 on British and American Muslim poets (2006); and on the Egyptian poet Busiri (2007). She was initiator of Commonword’s “Mushiara shake-up” a trilingual tour of South Asian women poets. Ilkley Literature Festival’s resident poet autumn 08. Shamshad co-wrote/directed “The Moonwatcher”a multimedia show that toured the North with sell out shows at The Royal Exchange Studio (Horse and Bamboo collaboration, Spring 2018). She was commissioned by Olympias Music to write for “Making Manchester”, to be performed next at the Royal Northern College of Music, October 2019. Shamshad is working with BooksupNorth on a dance poetry collaboration for Kala Sangam, October 2019.

Shortlisted for Arts Foundation Poetry Performance Fellowship  (2006)

Shortlisted for the CRE Race in the Media award for BBC (2003)