The aim of BBPC is to foster the use of multilingual poetry as a tool for personal expression and connection in marginalised communities. Poetry offers a powerful means of self-expression and connection with others, and our events and workshops are designed to assist people in processing their emotions, improving their mental health, and exploring their cultural roots through writing, performing, and translating poetry. We strive to create a more inclusive and vibrant poetry community by broadening access to multilingual poetry and showcasing the richness of underrepresented voices.
The British Bilingual Poetry Collective (BBPC) was founded in 2016 by Shamim Azad, a London-based poet, writer and translator. In the summer of May 2021, BBPC was registered as a community interest company with the aim of creating a platform for the hidden, unheard voices within our communities.
Shamim serves as the Chair of BBPC and is an accomplished poet, educator and writer. She has published more than 37 books including novels, collections of poems, plays, children’s books and translations. Her works and translations of poems have appeared in international anthologies including well-known literary magazines such as the New Yorker.
She has received many recognitions from Bangladesh and the UK including the 2018 Bangla Academy Syed Waliullah Literary Award in Bangladesh, a residency with A Poet’s Agora in Athens in 2019 and the 2020 Community Artist Award by the UK National Lottery. Shamim Azad is a trustee of the Rich Mix, an enlisted poet of the Apples and Snakes, the Founder Chair of the Bishwa Sahitya Kendro (World Literature Centre) London, as well as British Bangladeshi Poetry Collective (BBPC) and a Director of Form & Format. She has been the resident poet at Bok Bok Books and a resident storyteller at Toynbee Hall, London.
Mike is a semi-retired writer, producer and director whose career embraced broadcast television, corporate communications and latterly twenty years of making programmes for teaching English as a Foreign Language. As part of this he had a six-month contract with the BBC in 2009 which he spent in Dhaka and other parts of Bangladesh. During this period, Mike met and worked with Shamim and Eeshita Azad and began a lasting friendship.
As a trustee of BBPC, Mike brings a wealth of experience in the charity sector. He has worked with a range of organisations, including Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust, St Christopher's Hospice, the London Chamber Orchestra and has expertise in media relations. fundraising and project management. Aside from BBPC, Mike has published 101 Great Things about Japan and writes and edits material for Watford FC’s charity as well as being co-editor of The Watford Treasury a twice yearly magazine. He also jazzes up online course copy for the Technical University of Delft, blogs about his travels and maintains the website of his friend saxophonist Alan Skidmore. Mike is a regular theatre, opera and concert goer and supporter of several arts organisations.
Eeshita serves as the Executive Director of BBPC and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organisation. With over 15 years of experience working in the creative industry and third sector of London, New York, and Dhaka, Eeshita has a wealth of experience in leadership roles in both creative and strategic settings, from start-up e-businesses to non-profit organisations. She is dedicated to promoting multilingual poetry as a means of promoting mental wellbeing and encouraging cultural and heritage roots to be celebrated among communities.
Farah is the Deputy Director of BBPC and is responsible for community outreach, communication and marketing. She has a strong background in community engagement and event management, and is committed to making BBPC's events and workshops accessible to all members of the community. A bilingual poet and a published author, Farah is passionate about promoting the benefits of multilingual poetry for mental wellbeing and uses her skills to ensure that BBPC reaches the widest possible audience.
Milton is an accomplished member of BBPC, serving as both the Press and Media Officer and a resident poet. He is a seasoned media professional, with a deep understanding of how to communicate effectively and build strong relationships with journalists and media outlets. As a poet, Milton brings a unique perspective and creative flair to his work with BBPC, inspiring others to explore the transformative power of poetry.
Opu is a technical expert for BBPC. He is responsible for providing technical support for the collective's website and events. Additionally, he contributes his skills as a poet and translator to the organization, participating in workshops and events as a performer.
Anahita Anoara Saleh
Anahita is a youth ambassador for the British Bilingual Poetry Collective (BBPC). Currently pursuing a Master's degree in psychology at the University of Glasgow, Anahita is also actively involved in Glasgow's creative scene, running a regular music show called "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" at community radio station Subcity Radio. She has previously worked as a graphic designer for Glasgow-based arts zine PITH, showcasing her creative talents. Anahita's passion for mental wellbeing and the arts makes her a valuable member of the BBPC team, helping to spread the word about the collective's mission and initiatives.