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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

Poet, Playwright and Performer Hafsah Aneela Bashir Creates the Poetry Health Service

AATA friends Oldham Coliseum Theatre and commissioning partner HOME Manchester have commissioned Associate Artist Hafsah Aneela Bashir to create a project as part of Homemakers.

Homemakers is a series of new commissions inviting artists to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home. These fully funded commissions are an offer to ground-breaking artists to challenge the definition of ‘live performance’ – whether through live streaming, recordings, games, interactive stories, personal encounters, or something completely different.

For Homemakers, Hafsah is creating the Poetry Health Service [PHS] as a tool for healing. Using both her own poetry and gifted poems she will provide a poetry panacea by the people for the people. Emphasising the importance of art to our mental and emotional health, the PHS will be accessible both online and via a dedicated phoneline where people will be able to respond to the service. The idea for the PHS was inspired by Hafsah’s daily Instagram Live readings, which she has been delivering since the beginning of the UK lockdown.

Hafsah commented: “I’m so excited to receive a Homemakers commission – one that will draw on my lockdown connections make with strangers on Insta Live through our simple love for poetry.”

Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s Artistic Director Chris Lawson added: “We’re delighted to be working in association with our Greater Manchester neighbours at HOME. We feel the PHS project, led by Hafsah, is a vital and necessary artistic service that we are proud to support.”

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