Shamshad Khan

Poet, Resilience & Success Coach


Shamshad Khan

Poet & Resilience and Success 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.  My poem “Pot” is included on the English Literature GCSE syllabus, AQA 2022/23. My poetry collection “Megalomaniac” has been studied on the Lancaster University undergraduate English degree course. As a facilitator and coach in writing, resilience and success – 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, success and creative writing. Accredited by the Institute of leadership Managament. (ILM). With a background in training for the voluntary sector and local authority – She has delivered for artists, arts organisations, 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 co-founded; 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).    She worked with Insitu (Pendle) in co-facilitating plans for a BAMER artists support network (2019). Her current work is as partner with The Rebecca Swift Foundation, resilience coach for the Women Poets’ Prize Winners (2020/22) and work on “trigger Healing” – what healing means with Lankelly Chase and partners (2022- present).

Publications include features in:

“Organic me” in “Anthropocene” issue of Magma, 2021. “I love you too”, MIF, 2021,  Memoir piece in “The Wild Isles, an anthology of the best of British and Irish nature writing”, Head of Zeus, 2021.

The poem, “Pot” included on GCSE syllabus, AQA publications, 2022.

“The Fire People” (Payback Press 2022; 1998), “To gather your leaving”, Asian Diaspora poetry from America, Australia, UK and Europe, Ethos Books 2019;  “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, Virago).

Her solo poetry 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, Nia Moss and Royal Northern College of Music, October 2019.  BooksupNorth on a dance poetry collaboration for Kala Sangam, October 2019. Collaborate, sustainable video poems with artist Vicky Lomax, Cartwheel Arts 2020; Sustainable building, women architects,  from South Asia and UK, (British Council supported, 2022)

Shortlisted for Arts Foundation Poetry Performance Fellowship  (2006)

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