Ankita Saxena is a British-Indian poet and performer. She is a member of the Octavia poetry collective for womxn of colour, led by Rachel Long, the 2021 Apples and Snakes Writing Room, and a former Barbican Young Poet. She is one half of the poetry duo, ORIGINS.
Her poetry is published in Wasafiri, Modern Poetry in Translation and Bath Magg. She has performed widely across the UK, most recently at the Wasafiri New Writing Prize celebration, English PEN’s Sisterhood and Solidarity event at the Southbank Centre, the South Asian Heritage month Newham Unlocked Festival and Gutter Street.
In December 2021, in celebration of International Migrants Day she curated and co-hosted ORIGINS Poetry Night – an interdisciplinary arts event at POP Brixton, which sold out and raised over £500 for Migration Museum. The event featured poets Abena Essah and Repeat Beat Poet, as well as a host of other artists including life writer and academic SJ Kim and DJ, Noudle.
She read English at Oxford, where she was Head of Events at Oxford University Poetry Society, and won the Isis Magazine ‘Borders and Bodies’ competition for her poem ‘Partition’. She has been commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award three times.
She has been commissioned by St James’ Piccadilly, The Poetry Society and St Paul’s Cathedral, and facilitated workshops for Shakespeare’s Globe, the Wellcome Collection, Lacuna Lit and the Orwell Youth Prize. She has been a headliner at Dead Women Poets Society and featured poet at the Stay at Home Festival.
- Ghazal to my Other Tongues, Bath Magg, August 2021
- Inheritance and Anti-Manifesto, Wasafiri, March 2021
- A Woman is Laughing, Modern Poetry in Translation, November 2020
- Baba Ghanoush, Poetry and Shaah, May 2020
- Planks, Lacuna Lit, January 2019
- Deport, Desert Rose Literary Magazine, November 2018
- Partition, The Isis Magazine, May 2015
Performances / Readings
- Golden, October 2021
- Before we Forget, July 2021
- Anti-Manifesto (part), July 2021
- Ghazal: On Duty, April 2021
- Ode to Libraries, December 2020
- Bidai, May 2018
- Ode to the Custard Apple, May 2018
- Kajal, May 2018
- The Visitation, St Paul’s Cathedral, December 2017
- Halva, Bread and Roses Theatre, September 2018
- Noida, Sector 78, Bread and Roses Theatre, & The Tabard Theatre, August 2018
Interviews / Articles / Podcasts
- Hazel Press, March 2021
- Wordly Women Episode 4, September 2018
- Lines of Resistance, October 2017
- A defence of (contemporary) poetry, Shakespeare’s Globe, July 2018
- Foyle Friday, Poetry Society, July 2018
- Protest Poetry Challenge, Poetry Society, March 2018