Janette
Ayachi

           is a London-born Edinburgh-based Scottish-Algerian poet with a BA in Combined Honours in English Literature & Film & Media from Stirling University, & an MSc in Creative Writing: Poetry from Edinburgh University. She has been published in nearly a hundred literary journals & a broad range of anthologies from presses such as Polygon; Seren, Jessica Kingsley London, Cannongate & upcoming in Bloomsbury. Her essays, poetry and prose have been published internationally & translated into several languages. 

She has been Digital Poet in Residence for The Poetry School London, & a 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 & exhibitions. Her film poems have been selected for screening at festivals & she was the founder & editor of the magazine ‘The Undertow Review’ bringing art & poetry into a multidisciplinary forum. 

She performs her poetry at festivals & events, & 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 & 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.  

In 2021 she did a podcast with Jackie Bird about Robert Burns & in January 2022 she appeared with Edith Bowman on Burns Big Night In recorded live for The National Trust for Scotland. She also hosted a conversation & set of performances on film for the Scottish Poetry Library, gaining critical acclaim across publicity. She has been invited to appear on BBC’s Debate Night next & has been a judge for The Edwin Morgan Prize & The Scottish Book Trust Awards 2023.

She is the author of poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings & 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 a her debut novel Of Sweet Figs and Forget-Me-Nots & her travel memoir titled Lonerlust, a nonfiction narrative about desire & travelling alone searching for connections between landscapes, culture & the human condition.

‘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.’

Biography
Timeline

Medellin Poetry Festival, Colombia


Invited to read at the 33rd International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia.

Watch here

2023

New Writer's Award Judge


Joint Judge for The Scottish Book Trust New Writer’s Awards 2023

2023

Started as Poet in Residence at Edinburgh Park.


Poet in Residence for Parabola at Edinburgh Park.

2022

Big Burns Night In with Edith Bowman


Live filming for Big Burns Night In with Edith Bowman hosting. In collaboration with The Natural Trust for Scotland

2022

BBC Scotland TV Appearances


The Edinburgh Show
The Big Scottish Book Club
2020

The Writer’s Shift residency


Residency at Gallery with Tom Pow, Iain Morrison, Callie Gardner & Jane Goldman. A year residency working with archives & collaboration.

Read here

2020

Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award


Debut poetry collection, Hand Over Mouth Music, won the Saltire Award for Poetry Book of the Year

2019

Started with BBC Radio Scotland


Started as an Arts & Culture Critic for BBC Radio Scotland. Today can be heard on the Afternoon Show with Janice Forsyth.

2016

The Mermaid, The Girls & The Gondola


Released a children's book, illustrated by Fabio Perla and published by Blackwolf Edition press

2016

The Poetry School London


Digital poet and residence and sessional tutor.

Read here

2015

Pauses At Zebra Crossings


First pamphlet published with Original Plus Press

2012

& then welcomed my second daughter Lyra


2009

Welcomed my first daughter Aria


2007

Graduated from Edinburgh University​


MSc in Creative Writing: Poetry (Thesis: Women of The Beat  Generation)

2006

Graduated from Stirling University​


BA Combined Honours Degree in English Literature and Film & Media Studies

2004
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