One Week With Nadia Khomami

Categorised as ART., LITERATURE.

Nadia is a young writer from London who aims to, through her work, explore the possibilities of experimentation in both form and theory. Performing at and promoting spoken word and music events around the capital, she believes that only through transgressing barriers of traditional and modern, of the written and spoken word, and of different disciplines in art can we really catch the truth behind life, reality and society. A member of the prestigious Barbican Young Poets scheme, a freelance journalist, working on her début novel and co-founding a literary journal, it’s safe to say that she has fully immersed herself in ‘the house of the unconscious’; a term she uses to describe the place at the back of every poet’s mind, where thoughts unfound and unspoken come to gather and grow.

Not afraid to delve into her own sentimentality and explore the realms of the senses, Nadia’s work is centred on the burning issues of life and reality. Her poetry and prose, while graceful at times, simultaneously comprise a relative feel. “Real beauty” She says, “springs not only from romanticism, but from truth. From making concrete the experienced, and the today.”

She is fiercely idealistic and this deeply informs her own notions of her work, “I can’t deal with literati circles, or any circles for that matter. With every scene there comes a boundary, a barrier. Where all art is traditionally about transgressing this, and reaching out to as many people as possible. Especially now when imagination is one of the only things we have to fall back on, as a society.” But when quizzed on whether she thinks literature can be a tool for change, she laughs and continues, “actually, all I can think of right now is a cheeky drink at the pub. If something needs to be explained or overly premeditated, then it clearly isn’t working. Less talk and more doing has always been my mantra. And my drink’s a G&T, thanks.”


Over the coming week at Mint we will be featuring a variety of her prose and poetry, starting with this short piece titled ‘Pissed on Half the Penny’.

Pissed on half the penny
and the rest an ego down the slot machine
seen somewhere way off in Brighton.
Sweet on the teeth rocks and sherbert shells
half down the wish you wells and half
up the nose.

A night steaming on forever
by the streets together like
99 would never end.
Thoughts knit now on quarter cider
and online motions less the worthy and
spurning notions
of off shore amusement parks
sometime and place now past

I wish I was a chestnut tree nourished
By the sun with leaves and twigs and branches
And conkers by the ton.

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