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Kamil Mahmood

Kamil Mahmood is a Poet, Spoken Word and Visual Artist born and raised in Birmingham His work explores identity, community, Islam, the British Pakistani Diaspora, masculinity and international activism. He combines contemporary commentary with narratives of the often overlooked and unheard, championing words as tools for change.

He has worked with organizations including Beatfreeks, Birmingham REP, Ummahsonic, Sampad, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and has perfomed with Out-Spoken, live on BBC Asian Network, at the Midlands Arts Centre, the Birmingham Hippodrome, Ikon Gallery as well as Cheltenham and Verve Poetry Festivals. He has been described as a wordsmith of the ages whose lyrics permeate the zeitgeist and a promising prospect for the UK Poetry scene.

Kamil’s thrilling debut collection, Mute Men articulates the author’s musings born on late bus journeys and silent morning car trips with his Dad.

Kamil focuses on narratives of the often side-lined, within the microcosm of the Muslim immigrant majority area that raised him as well as internationally, exploring the fallout of colonialism, war and displacement. The collection is a brutally honest collage of disconnect, of a boy stumbling into manhood; processing a strayed history whilst probing his place in the world.

‘A powerful and timely collection exploring the tension carries by many British South Asian men. Kamil’s poems are steeped in empathy and dazzling lyricism as he interroagets

race, masculinity and religion within his community. This is an important piece of British poetry.’ Caleb Femi

‘The equivalent of sitting in your nani’s kitchen, sipping chai, eating samoseh with chutney, chit chatting, reminiscing, debating, challenging, mind and mouth wide open, ready for the next morsel of knowledge to be handed down, His work is daring and unapolagetic, his style closely connected to his roots (Birmingham and Pakistan); his ideas brazen. At times difficult to digest, Kamil’s debut collection is one I will be coming back to time and time again.’ Nafeesa Hamid

Number 6

Doors slam themselves awake
knees scuttle steps tiptoeing insects.

I haste along the thick of it
pace to a place that’ll displace me
out of the routine.

White flag a bus to bring colour to this grey.
In mind’s eye spark hills, brooks and green halls.
surely the sullied hull of this ship will last
but touch wood the polaroids don’t develop too fast

I’m running
no faster than 30 MPH
amber lights contemplation
red lights meditation
vibrating laps and sweat clothed backs the sensation

This microcosm might cost 4.20
but this trip could be the day saver
Stay in your own lane
Poles and pockets

Foreign tongues wafting their scents
breeding the environment with their own
and in a split second it’s not a bus
It’s a boat or a PIA aeroplane
and it’s time share.

Hijabs and turbans and crucifixes
Masjids meet gurdwaras greet churches

Side by side in tessellation
Unknown in their piloted utopia

On a road that’s more like an aorta.