City of Edmonton's 8th Poet Laureate
Canadian Individual Slam Champion
Edmonton, Alberta (mostly)
Nisha Patel is an award-winning disabled queer spoken word author & artist. She was the City of Edmonton’s 8th Poet Laureate, and is a Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion. Her debut poetry collection, COCONUT (NeWest Press) was a finalist for the ABPA Regional Book of the Year. Her next poetry collection, a fate worse than death, will be out with Arsenal Pulp Press in spring 2024. She is working on her first graphic novel focusing on lived experiences of desire and disability, and is querying her disability-focused children's books.
Nisha is a full-time diabetic with complex regional pain syndrome, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Although labels are temporary and ever-evolving, her identifying labels have helped her to narrow down treatment, access affirmative and proactive care, and fight for disability justice. Much of her day to day is spent with her partner, Matthew, as they navigate care.
She is also a dedicated teacher, mentor, and public speaker. Her latest works include her disability chapbook, NOT A DISORDER (Gap Riot Press) as well as her co-authored book of erasure and multimedia photos How To Get a Thigh Gap with Bree Taylor (Collusion Books).
Nisha was awarded the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award, the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal, and is a finalist of the Vallum Chapbook Award. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she has been published by filling station, GUTS magazine, THIS Magazine, Edify, New Trail, Glass Buffalo, The Polyglot, and more, and has works in anthologies with The City Series (Frog Hollow Press), COVID Collections, and Hush No More: Poetry and Art to End Rape Culture. Nisha holds a Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University and is completing an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC.
Her work also includes visual and fine art, photography and digital design, and music, as she continues to explore how storytelling takes on a myriad of forms.
Nisha has performed and taught workshops across Canada, participating in festivals, slams, and readings. After qualifying in Rio de Janeiro, she represented Canada in the 2022 Poetry Slam World Cup in Brussels. In the past, she has taught with the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, the Writers' Union and League of Canadian Poets, and has juried extensively for the Edmonton Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She has acted as mentor and consultant as the Metro Edmonton Libraries Writer in Residence, the Nook Cafe Artist in Residence, and the Sewing Machine Factory Artist in Residence. She was also a Festival Producer and Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival.
Nisha works towards her goal of building a stronger artistic community through living in her truth. You can find her on social media @anothernisha
You can find her books at Audreys Bookshop in Edmonton, and online through your local and national bookshops.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU
Bookings are limited. Please get in touch as early as possible before your requested event.
Online Performance, In-Person Performances
Remote and Virtual Workshops (writing, performance, storytelling)
Public Speaking (poetry, disability justice, mental health)
Mentorship & Coaching
BOOKING INQUIRIES & CONTACT
Please get in touch to discuss performance rates, commissions & speaking engagements, charitable or volunteer gigs, or general information about my work. All requests will be considered based on needs and capacity. Commercial usage rates will apply. Please follow up if you do not hear back!