Ankita Saxena

poet, performer, workshop facilitator

Mother | Line

Ankita Saxena is a British-Indian writer and performer. She is the author of a debut collection of poetry, Mother | Line, which released in April 2023, with Verve Poetry Press – a culmination of over a decade of writing, editing and performing. It has recently featured on Dishoom, The Guilty Feminist, and Desi Blitz.

What do we inherit from our mothers? From our grandmothers? From the legacy of colonisation and empire? Mother | Line charts lineage in all its forms, delving into female rage, compassion, and endurance. Drawing on the author’s British Asian heritage and experiences growing up as a woman in an increasingly violent world, this collection weaves together the personal and the political in ghazals, odes and specular poems, which hold a mirror to the world and to themselves. “We are daughters of Kali”, Saxena writes, and “mothers linger on the sides, hearing us become them; / our routines only theirs to thank for, our spices, / our blends, and even our greedy tongues.”

The book cover design and illustrations are by Peonica Fernando.

Readings and Launch Events

Where to buy Mother | Line





“A sublime and considered collection, speaking to, and spanning lineage, inheritance, friendship.”     

Rachel Long

“A powerhouse of an anthology. Electric verse with a howling feminist soul. Bright. Witty. Poignant. Glorious.”

Deborah Frances-White
Mother | Line – Section 1
Mother | Line – Section 2
Mother | Line – Section 3
Mother | Line Section 4

Performance and Workshop Facilitation

Ankita is an experienced performer and workshop facilitator. Some recent projects include:

  • May 2023: Ankita performed poetry for University of Northampton’s Global Ethnic Majority Staff Network’s Poetic Justice Event to mark George Floyd Day. She read poems about privilege, protest and culture.
  • April 2023: Ankita led a 2 hour poetry workshop on sexual violence for a group of 16-20y/o recruited as commissioners for the charity Leaders Unlocked. The workshop helped generate conversations as well as original, provoking poetry from the young people around issues that impact them today. Following the workshop, Ankita pieced the content together into a group poem. This poem will be turned into a film, narrated by the young people, to influence decision makers.
  • Feb – March 2023: Ankita led two poetry workshops for a class of 30 Year 4 students at Reay Primary School, as part of author and academic Dr Karina Lickorish Quinn’s research project aiming to prove the value of multi-lingualism in schools. Following these workshops, Dr Karina will be aiming to roll out a national pilot of multi-lingualism creative writing workshops, to help instil confidence, creativity and cultural awareness early in young people’s lives.
  • October 2022: Ankita performed poetry live at the Hammersmith Appollo for The Guilty Feminist podcast.

Get in touch below if you’d like to commission Ankita to facilitate any workshops for your organisations. She is particularly interested in hearing from charities that support women, migrants and other minoritised groups.

Published Writing

Interviews / Articles / Podcasts

About Ankita

Ankita Saxena is the author of Mother | Line, which released in April 2023, with Verve Poetry Press. She read English Literature at Jesus College, Oxford (2014-2017), where she was Head of Events at Oxford University Poetry Society, and President of the Turl Street Arts Festival. She has been commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award three times. She is a Barbican Young Poet alumnus, part of the Octavia Poetry Collective, and one half of the ORIGINS Poetry Duo. Her poetry is published in Wasafiri, Modern Poetry in Translation and Bath Magg. She has performed widely across the UK, including live at Hammersmith Appollo, with The Guilty Feminist.

By day, she works at Social Finance, a not-for-profit social enterprise, helping to tackle complex and enduring issues in society and create lasting and widespread change.