Say hello to Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan – our new Writer in Residence
Author, poet, playwright, podcaster, essayist, activist-educator and now Writer in Residence at Leeds Playhouse – Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is a woman who’s never lost for words.
After attending Roundhay School in her hometown of Leeds, she got a BA in History from Cambridge and an MA in Postcolonial Studies from SOAS in London. Since then, she has focused on disrupting our understanding of history, race, knowledge and violence through poetry performances based on her book Postcolonial Banter, which have attracted millions of views online; essays in collections from Manchester University Press and Unbound; articles for The Guardian, Independent, Al-Jazeera and gal-dem; and short plays and monologues for Freedom Studios, The Bunker and the Royal Court
Suhaiymah was also the national Roundhouse Poetry Slam runner-up in 2017, is co-author of A Fly Girl’s Guide to University, an analysis of the experiences of women of colour at Cambridge, hosts the Breaking Binaries podcast (currently on hiatus), and is looking forward to the publication of her new book, Tangled in Terror: Uprooting Islamaphobia in March next year
Talking about her new year-long role as Writer in Residence at Leeds Playhouse, she said: “I am so excited to immerse myself in the inner workings of a theatre and hope that understanding both the creative and institutional processes that result in the plays we see on stage can develop my writing and motivate me to experiment beyond what I have tried so far.
“I want to think about how we use theatre and writing as well as who we write for. The Playhouse is brimming with conversations around this and I am excited to work with people really questioning what theatre could be when it’s at its best, and how we can ensure that stories and story-telling are things everybody can access. For me, writing has never been separate from these wider questions as I truly see writing as a tool for changing the system – and even world-change.”
Leeds Playhouse’s Associate Director Amy Leach said: “We are delighted to welcome Suhaiymah to the Playhouse team. She is an exceptional artist and we look forward to the creative journey we’ll go on with her over the next year.
“Leeds Playhouse has a long history of welcoming local artists to join us as Writers in Residence as part of our Furnace Programme of artistic development. These opportunities provide a chance to collaborate with artists at significant moments in their career; to give them in-depth support in their development as a playwright, as well as welcoming their thoughts, ideas and provocations to the life of the Playhouse.”
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