We are delighted to have appointed award-winning poet Momtaza Mehri, formerly Young People’s Poet Laureate for London and winner of the 2023 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, as our second Jacqueline Bardsley Poet-In-Residence. Momtaza has established herself as a versatile poet using the artform as a bridge to connect with people and their experiences. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The Guardian, Granta and on the BBC.
Momtaza, who is Somali British and grew up in north-west London, is multilingual in English, Arabic and Somali, and works with translators and collaborates with artists across disciplines. She is drawn to the theme of movement in her writing: people, places, language, disruption, displacement and reconstitution. Momtaza is looking forward to working with Homerton and the broader Cambridge community, and is interested in widening participation by working with communities, libraries and festivals in Cambridge as well as with the University.
Senior Tutor Georgina Horrell commented ‘We are honoured and thrilled that Momtaza will be working with the College and our members, to create inspirational, creative opportunities and adventures.’
The Jacqueline Bardsley Poet-in-Residence at Homerton College is generously funded by Dr Norman Bardsley, in memory of his wife, Jacqueline, who attended Homerton from 1960-62. Mrs Bardsley was a lifelong writer and lover of poetry and was actively involved in several poetry societies near her home in California. Mariah Whelan was the inaugural poet at Homerton from 2021-3. The Poet-in-Residence is intended to enable Homerton to foster a culture of poetry among its students and alumni.