This is an audio interview with Canada’s 2019 Individual Poetry Slam Champion, Nisha Patel. Nisha is an Edmonton-based Indo-Canadian poet and the new Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Her work offers a rich, often sardonic take on themes of identity, race, and gender. In this interview, PhiLab Ontario Hub Coordinator Kristen Pue talks to Nisha about her work, Canada’s poetry scene, and the arts funding ecosystem. Nisha discusses how she funds her craft, as well as what funders could do to make it easier for poets to invest in themselves.
Nisha Patel is an award-winning Indo-Canadian poet & artist. She is the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion, the Edmonton Slam Champion, and a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. She is also the Festival Producer of the Edmonton Poetry Festival.
Her work has been published in a collection of poems called “Water” and a solo chapbook “Limited Success” through Glass Buffalo Publishing. She has performed across Canada and the world, sharing her work on multiple tours and international features. Her poetry speaks to themes of race, feminism, and identity, focusing strongly on her struggles and triumphs as a woman of colour. She is a proud member of the Breath in Poetry Collective and a graduate of the Alberta School of Business, and works to further her goal of building a stronger artistic community through living in her truth. You can find out more about her at www.nishapatel.ca.