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Let Me Tell You This: Nadine Aisha Jassat Launch

Nadine Aisha Jassat’s debut collection Let Me Tell You This is a vital exploration of racism, gender and the sustaining, restorative bonds between women, told with her searing precision and lyricism. It is one of the most hotly anticipated books of 2019 with early praise from Jackie Kay, Hollie McNish and Nikesh Shukla.

These poems seep into the reader as they navigate the lived experience, seeking answers to questions that shouldn’t need to be asked, guiding the reader on a journey that delivers a punch to the chest that sits with you long after the final page is turned. Nadine is a rare and exciting talent.

In keeping with the spirit of her poetry and performance the launch of Let Me Tell You This is also a showcase of some of Scotland's most talented and compelling women in the arts. Stay tuned as we announce our all women of colour line up in February!

'Nadine is a writer whose graceful, honest words somehow hit you with all the force of a sucker punch. I felt read by this collection. Nadine excavates a certain trauma and pain that lies latent in the experiences of so many women with breathtaking precision and care, lifting our voices and tenderly giving weight to our buried truths. If you read one poetry collection this year, let it be this.' - Sabeena Akhtar

Nadine's work has been published online and in print, including in 404 ink’s acclaimed Nasty Women, the Dangerous Women Project, and New Writing Scotland. Her pamphlet, Still, was launched at the Scottish Poetry Library in 2016, and her spoken-word piece, ‘Hopscotch,’ was made into a film-poem by award-winning filmmaker Roxana Vilk, and has been shown at festivals across the UK.

Nadine has performed solo spoken-word shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Just Festival, and the Audacious Women Festival, as well as performing at literary cabarets such as Flint & Pitch, and Sofar Sounds Edinburgh. She has appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Aye Write, and Glasgow Women’s Library’s Festival of Women Writers, and was the debut writer in residence for YWCA Scotland - The Young Women's Movement.

Nadine has worked extensively as a creative practitioner focusing on social justice issues, and in particular delivers workshops and projects with young people; using drama, creative writing, and storytelling to explore Racism, Islamophobia and Gender-Based Violence. In 2017, Nadine was named as one of thirty inspiring young women under thirty in Scotland.


Nadine Aisha Jassat is a poet, writer, and creative practitioner. She has been published widely online and in print, including in Picador’s essay anthology It’s Not About the Burqa, and 404 Ink’s highly-praised Nasty Women, and has performed widely, including at Edinburgh International Book Festival, Neu! Reekie!, and StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival. Her work has drawn acclaim: in 2018, she received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers’ Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Outspoken London Prize for Poetry in Film and the prestigious Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. In 2017, she was named as one of ’30 Inspiring Young Women Under 30’ by YWCA Scotland, in 2018 was named as one of The List’s ‘Hot 100’ contributors to arts and culture. Her debut poetry collection Let Me Tell You This was published by 404 Ink in March 2019 to great praise, described as a 'powerful, punchy debut collection' by Makar Jackie Kay, 'An important collection... incisive, delicate and precise as it interrogates the trauma of systematic and everyday racism' by Nikesh Shukla, and readers are urged by Sabeena Akhtar: 'If you read one poetry collection this year, let it be this'.

Jessica Brough is a member of the anti-racist collective Resisting whiteness and a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh researching language and perspective-taking. Jess is also behind 'Fringe of Colour', a scheme that aims to promote shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by performers of colour and provide free tickets for these shows to young people of colour. She will be MCing the event.

Diljeet Bhachu is a Scottish-Indian researcher-activist-musician based in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Graduating from the renowned BA Applied Music programme at the University of Strathclyde in 2011, where she also completed her Masters, she is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, with funding from the AHRC through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH).

Diljeet is an activist with the Musicians’ Union (MU) and University and Colleges Union (UCU), speaking frequently for the MU at trade union conferences and events. She is passionate about equality and equity in the creative industries in Scotland, and also about tackling these issues across the arts education sector, which is where her current research is focussed. In 2017 she co-founded the Scottish-Asian Creative Artists’ Network (ScrAN), to address the issues specific to Scottish-Asians working in the creative industries in Scotland.

Diljeet is one half of flutes/taiko/electronics duo Velma, with Georgie McGeown. She also improvises and writes for her own solo project with flutes and electronics. You can read some of Diljeet’s poetry in The Colour of Madness, a BAME Mental Health anthology published in 2018.

Hannah Lee is a Scottish-Chinese teacher based in Glasgow. She graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a BA (Music) award in 2016 and throughout her studies developed a passion for engaging and collaborating in various art-forms and practices.

Hannah began her studies on flute and piccolo with Sheena Gordon and voice with Marilyn Smith after accepting her place on the Bachelors of Education course. She later changed degrees in her final year to advance her performance and musicianship skills as she was disappointed by how rigid the Scottish education system was and felt that she was not able to progress to her full potential as a teacher, musician and an artist. During that time she decided to pursue a career as a multi-disciplinary artist and began painting again whilst collaborating with various composers and musicians creating inter-disciplinary art pieces.

She currently works as a freelance music and Kodaly teacher, and as a visual artist collaborating with musicians and performers based in Glasgow and is a strong advocate for intersectional feminism and diversifying and decolonising arts education.

Diljeet and Hannah have been performing together since 2017, when they made their debut for Glasgow Women’s Library’s Silver-wear Herland night. They mostly perform their own original compositions, but like to throw in the odd cover, in homage to inspiring women of colour.

Hannah Lavery is a poet and most recently performed at Stanza 2019, and she has had featured spots at Sonnet Youth, Flint and Pitch Revue, Solas Festival, National Theatre of Scotland Just Start Here Weekend and many more.

She has had her work performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre was awarded a Tom McGrath Playwriting Grant in 2015, a Megaphone Residency from The Workers’ Theatre in 2017 and a Summerhall Lab in 2019. Her most recent spoken word show, The Drift will go on a Scotland wide tour as part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Season 2019.

Her poetry has been published by Gutter Magazine amongst others and her first pamphlet of short fiction, Rocket Girls, was published by Postbox Press in 2018.

Her pamphlet, Finding Seaglass: Poems from The Drift will be released by Stewed Rhubarb Press in April.

We will also be welcoming a performance from the incredible musician and singer Heir of the Cursed!

The Assembly Roxy is wheelchair accessible and speakers will be using microphones at this event. If you have any access needs do give the bookshop a shout (email us a books @ Lighthousebookshop .com) and we'll try to accomodate you however we can.