Tishani Doshi Readings

Tishani Doshi Readings

'The poems of Tishani Doshi’s A God at the Door operate on the grand scale, reaching for visionary responses to their often troubling subjects. They etch articulate outrage deftly on to ecological backdrops... everywhere these poems are caustic and comic in turn, “unbelted, unbuttoned”, shimmering and bright. Though “hope is a booby trap” in the war-ravaged landscapes, it is nevertheless offered up and renewed throughout this stunning and ambitious collection.' Aingeal Clare, The Guardian


Poet, novelist and dancer Tishani Doshi launched her fourth collection A God at the Door with a series of  virtual readings organised by UK and Irish festivals. She read at StAnza,  Mountains to Sea, Cardiff Poetry Festival and Cúirt International Festival of Literature ahead of UK publication on 22 April 2021, and at Swindon Festival of Literature in May. A film of her joint Bloodaxe launch event on 20 April 2021 can be seen below, along with a stunning filmed reading she made for the Coronet Inside Out series.

In 2018 Tishani toured the UK and Ireland with readings and dance/spoken word performances for her third collection Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The collection and her accompanying dance performance were shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2018.

Her previous two collections were Everything Begins Elsewhere, published by Bloodaxe in 2012, and her debut, Countries of the Body (Aark Arts) winner of the Forward Prize for best first collection. Her second novel, Small Days and Nights (Bloomsbury, 2019) was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize.

A God at the Door is on the shortlist for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2021.


Tishani Doshi was interviewed for ‘The Holiday that Changed Me’ feature in The Telegraph’s Travel section on 2 January 2021.  Tishani wrote about how a student trip to Italy led to her becoming a poet. Click here to read.  Available in full by subscription.  Register to see a few articles for free.

Tishani was featured in Ars Notoria, along with three poems from her fourth collection A God at the Door.  Illustrated with photos of Tishani dancing the piece she devised to accompany her 2018 Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods tour.  Read the Poet of Honour feature here.

Ahead of her event at Mountains to Sea festival on 27 March 2021, Tishani shared her Life in Books with Ireland's Sunday Independent.  Read the feature here.

Tishani Doshi was interviewed on the BBC World Service's The Cultural Frontline on 27 March about the interplay between dance and poetry in her creative work.  Listen here (2nd item).

A God at the Door is reviewed in The Guardian's best recent poetry round-up for April 2021 here and in the Times Literary Supplement's poetry round-up here.

Two stunning shaped poems from the collection are featured in Bookanista here to mark publication on 22 April.

Tishani's poem 'Species' from A God at the Door  was read and discussed by Irish poet Pádraig Ó Tuama on the Poetry Unbound podcast of 8 October 2021.  Listen here.



Sunday 17 October 2021, 1:00 pm-2:15 pm, Berwick Literary Festival

The Bloodaxe Poetry Event: David Constantine, Tishani Doshi and Heidi Williamson

David Constantine and Heidi Williamson will read from their recent poetry collections Belongings and Return by Minor Road, both of which explore the passing, and passing on, of memories and experience. In different ways, each considers how we connect to our fellow humans and the landscapes that form us – the people and places we carry with us through time.

Tishani Doshi’s fourth book of poetry, A God at the Door, which is shortlisted for the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Collection, spans time and space, drawing on the extraordinary minutiae of nature and humanity to elevate the marginalised. From flightless birds and witches, to black holes and Marilyn Monroe, A God at the Door illuminates with lines and images that surprise, inflame and dazzle. Tishani has kindly agreed to a showing of her superb video A God at the Door during this session.

Introduced by Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley.

All Zoom sessions are FREE (except for the Poetry and Writing workshops).

Registration here.


The Forward Prizes for Poetry Ceremony, Sun 24 Oct, 7pm, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London

Join James Naughtie, broadcaster and jury chair, as he hosts the presentation of the UK and Ireland’s most coveted poetry prizes.

Along with Naughtie, this year’s judges – poets Pascale Petit, Leontia Flynn and Shivanee Ramlochan, plus critic Tristram Fane Saunders – read 231 poetry collections and 202 nominated single poems to find the most exciting poetry published in the British Isles.

All of the shortlisted poets have been invited to read on the night. They are: Kayo Chingonyi, Luke Kennard and Stephen Sexton, for Best Collection; Caleb Femi, alice hiller, Cynthia Miller, Holly Pester and Ralf Webb, for Best First Collection; and Fiona Benson, Natalie Linh Bolderstone, John McCullough, Denise Riley and Nicole Sealey, for Best Single Poem.

Tishani Doshi and Selima Hill's contributions will be virtual.

In-person bookings here.  Tickets £15

The ceremony will also be streamed live. Tickets £7.50.  Book here.


Manchester Literature Festival, 1-14 November 2021 (from 1pm on 1st November to midnight on the 14th)

Tishani Doshi in conversation with Mona Arshi

Pre-recorded Vimeo digital event. Tickets are free - no need to book.

Tishani Doshi: A God at the Door

‘The point of hunger/is to remind you to live.’ Award-winning Indian poet Tishani Doshi joins us to share poems from her exquisite, inventive, insightful and often playful new collection A God at the Door. She will discuss her work and imagination; the urgency of writing about injustice, inequality and climate change, and the role Human Rights and feminism play in her life as a poet and person with fellow poet and Human Rights lawyer Mona Arshi.

This event is presented in partnership with Ripples of Hope Festival and will include a short film of the commission Tishani wrote responding to Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

This digital event is freely available to watch from 1pm on Monday 1 November until midnight on Sunday 14 November via the MLF web page below or on the MLF Vimeo channel.

Click here to view the film from 1pm on 1 November. No need to book.



Tuesday 20th July 2021, 6pm to 7pm, GemArts Masala Festival & Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts

'A God at the Door': Tishani Doshi reading and in conversation with John Challis

Award-winning poet and dancer, Tishani Doshi gave an online reading for NCLA and the GemArts Masala Festival on 20 July 2021 . Born in Madras, India, Tishani is of Welsh-Gujarati descent and has published four collections of poetry and two novels. Her first collection, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and her most recent novel, Small Days and Nights (Bloomsbury, 2019), was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Tishani was reading from her fourth collection, A God at the Door (Bloodaxe, 2021), a collection of poems that bestows power on the powerless, deploys beauty to heal trauma, and enables the voices of the oppressed to be heard with piercing clarity. From flightless birds and witches, to black holes and Marilyn Monroe, A God at the Door illuminates with lines and images that surprise, inflame and dazzle.

After her reading, Tishani was in conversation about her poetry with John Challis, Research Associate at Newcastle University, and author of The Resurrectionists (Bloodaxe, 2021). A fascinating and deeply thoughtful discussion.  A video of this hour-long event is below.

Tishani Doshi in conversation with John Challis at the GemArts Masala Festival on 20 July 2021.

Tishani was reading from her Forward Prize-shortlisted collection A God at the Door and was in conversation with fellow Bloodaxe poet John Challis.  'Poems are so small but they have the possibility to work with such incredible scale' - Tishani Doshi


Wednesday 28 April 2021, Coronet Inside Out series, Coronet Theatre, Notting Hill, London

For Coronet Inside Out poet, novelist and dancer Tishani Doshi recorded these poems from Kodaikanal, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, from her fourth collection, A God at the Door, published by Bloodaxe Books on 22 April 2021. She says:

‘What I love about the Coronet is its sense of intimacy and other-worldliness. When you pass through the doors — whether it’s into the bar or to the theatre, there’s a sense of crossing over a threshold and entering into a different space – where you are connected with strangers, where transformations can happen. Most of the poems in my fourth collection, A God at the Door (Bloodaxe), have to do with this idea of connection and intimacy. For me the two touchstones are language and the body, the idea that any pilgrimage must lead back to ourselves, our bodies, but that we are in this together. Poems are bridges, they can connect our personal losses to public grief, they can also offer glimpses of beauty, humour & hope.’ – Tishani Doshi




Tuesday 20 April 2021, Bloodaxe Books poetry online, joint launch with Tishani Doshi, Dom Bury & Jenna Clake

This international launch reading by Dom Bury, Jenna Clake and Tishani Doshi celebrating the publication of their new poetry collections was live streamed on 20 April 2021. It is now available on YouTube - see below.
Owing to the time difference, Tishani Doshi's two readings and her discussion with Dom Bury were prerecorded at her home in India. Dom Bury joined live from Devon, and Jenna Clake from Newcastle upon Tyne, with editor Neil Astley hosting from his home in Northumberland.  Their readings were followed by a separate live discussion between Dom and Jenna. In their pre-recorded discussion, Tishani and Dom talked about the environmental matters that lie at the heart of their collections, as well as the importance of form, shape and control in their poetry.
Jenna reads first in each set, followed by Dom, then Tishani.


Poet and dancer Tishani Doshi toured the UK and Ireland in 2018 with readings and dance/spoken word performances for her third collection Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She devised the twenty-minute dance piece herself, and performed it to a recording of her reading the title poem (see film below). Tishani danced for many years with the renowned choreographer Chandralekha, with whom she performed internationally.

Tishani Doshi kicked off her UK & Irish tour with an interview on Radio 4's Front Row on Monday 21 May 2018. Listen here.

Read an interview with Tishani on the Bookanista website here


Tishani Doshi dances Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace

Tishani Doshi performs her dance version of ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’ in the Dylan Thomas Birthplace, Swansea, in July 2018. Filmed by Gareth M Davies (www.seebehindthemoon.com). Poem read by her with music composed by Luca Nardon (www.lucanardon.it).

[08 February 2021]

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