The University of Liverpool has appointed award-winning Global Indian poet, writer and human rights lawyer Mona Arshi to the post of Honorary Professor of English and Law.
Arshi, who was born to Sikh parents and grew up in the UK, is the winner of the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection at the prestigious Forward Prize for Poetry for her work 'Small Hands', completed following a decade working as a lawyer for the human rights organisation, Liberty.
“I am delighted to accept this appointment. Language and centring the human in the landscape of our language matters more than ever,” said Arshi.
“It feels important that the relationship between the role of a human rights lawyer and that of a poet is made explicit.I am looking forward to working with both staff and the diverse student community in terms of building conversations together about the role of the imagination and empathy, and how poetry in particular offers an aberrant alternative in language,” she said.
The three-year post will involve Arshi take part in events with both English and Law students at the university, as well as contributing to the university's broad programme of public engagements.
“Mona's poetry speaks to important contemporary issues and her practice is a vivid demonstration of how art can give voice to the voiceless and draw attention to the plight of the most marginalised groups in society,” said Professor Fiona Beveridge, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Liverpool University.
Following her rise to literary success, Arshi has appeared at readings and literary festivals across the UK, while her work has been published in several places from the literary journal 'Granta' to the London Underground.
She released her second collection 'Dear Big Gods'?with Pavilion Poetry - an imprint launched jointly by the University's Department of English and Liverpool University Press - in 2019 and her debut novel,Somebody Loves You', is due to be published in 2021.