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 an MSc in Creative Writing: Poetry from Edinburgh University. She has been published in nearly a hundred literary journals and anthologies from presses such as Polygon; Seren, Jessica Kingsley London, Vagabond Voices, Pagan Press Texas, Vakxikon Publications Athens, Luath Press, Freight, The Istanbul Review, Poetry Salzburg and upcoming in Black-Dog and One-Eyed Press Nova Scotia and Bloomsbury. Her essays, poetry and prose have been published internationally and translated into Greek, French, Portuguese, Marathi and Arabic in print and video installation.
She has been Digital Poet in Residence 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 film poems have been selected for screening at festivals and she was the founder and editor of the magazine The Undertow Review bringing art and poetry into a multidisciplinary forum.
She performs her poetry at festivals and events, and 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’, in 2019 she appeared on BBC television in the art series Loop, The Edinburgh Show and then Damian Barr’s The Big Scottish Book Club before hosting a film about The Scottish Poetry Library for Book Week Scotland, both 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 her second poetry collection QuickFire, Slow Burning’ and Lonerlust, 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.’