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Janette Ayachi

Janette Ayachi (1982 - ) is a London-born Edinburgh-based Scottish-Algerian poet with a BA Combined Honours in English Literature and Film & Media from Stirling University, and a MSc in Creative Writing: Poetry from Edinburgh University.  She has been published in over eighty literary journals and anthologies from presses such as Polygon; Seren, Jessica Kingsley London and Salt's 'The Best British Poetry of 2015'. 


Her essays and poetry have been published internationally, translated into Greek, French and Spanish. She has been Digital Poet in Residence and Sessional Tutor for The Poetry School London, and Visiting Poet on a Teaching Residency for the students of Arcadia University, Philadelphia.  

She collaborates with artists; has been shortlisted for a few accolades, engages in numerous projects, performances, readings and exhibitions. Her filmpoems have been selected for screening at festivals and she was the founder and editor of online magazine The Undertow Review bringing art and poetry into a multidisciplinary forum. In 2016, after performing her poem about 'Amy Winehouse' on BBC Radio Scotland  she was invited to return as an Arts & Culture critic for The Afternoon Show.  The following year, she was commissioned to write a poem for a BBC Radio 4 documentary 'Conversations on a Bench’, then in 2019 she appeared on BBC television in the art series Loop, The Edinburgh Show and Damian Barr’s The Big Scottish Book Club in 2020.


She is the author of poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings and A Choir of Ghosts, a hardback children's chapter book The Mermaid, The Girl and The Gondola illustrated by Fabio Perla in Italy. Her first full poetry collection Hand Over Mouth Music (published by Pavilion: University of Liverpool Press) won The Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Literary Award 2019.  


She is currently working on several commissions and her book Lonerlust: Postcards of a Passed-On World, a nonfiction narrative about desire and travelling alone searching connections between landscapes, culture and human connection.


‘Pavilion poetry have built such a fantastic stable in just a few years, and Janette Ayachi is a worthy addition.  Restless & curious, pressing at the edges of the singular self, at where cultural and personal identities meet.’

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Photographer: Mattias Kremer
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