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City of Edmonton's 8th Poet Laureate 
Canadian Individual Slam Champion

Edmonton, Alberta (mostly)

Candy Cotton


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), speaks to her experiences as a Gujarati daughter of diaspora navigating internalized hate, self-love, and grief. She is also a dedicated teacher, mentor, and public speaker. Nisha’s latest works include her disability poetics chapbook, NOT A DISORDER (Gap Riot Press), her upcoming spoken word album, and her forthcoming chapbook Patient+


Nisha was awarded the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award and is a finalist of the Vallum Chapbook Award. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she has been published by filling station, 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 is a Masters candidate at Queen’s University, focusing on disability justice and how it can be applied to achieve equity for all, and will be starting her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC in 2022. 


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 will be representing Canada in the 2022 Poetry Slam World Cup in Brussels. In the past, she was taught with the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, the Writers' Union and League of Canadian Poets, and as 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


COCONUT is available now at Glass Bookshop along with her chapbooks. 

Her new micro press partnership, Moon Jelly House, publishes only BIPOC poets and can be followed here

Nisha holds a Bachelors of Commerce from the University of Alberta School of Business with a major in Business Economics and Law and a Certificate in Leadership, as well as a Certificate in Applied Land Use Planning from the University of Alberta. 

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Pink Gradient


Things move fast! If you want to stay up to date with recordings and workshops, event updates, and resources, the best way is to bookmark my Linktree where I will quickly post relevant information, or to follow my social media.  

Candy Cotton
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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)

  • Commissions

  • Mentorship ​& Coaching

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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! 

Thanks for submitting!

Photo Credits: Timiro Mohamed, Matthew James Weigel, Yulia Skogoreva

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