Public Knowledge: The 87 Press - Camden Art Centre

Public Knowledge: The 87 Press

The 87 Press will present a programme of poetry written and read by Bhanu Khapil,  Peter Gizzi, Sascha Aktar, and Mira Mattar. The 87 Press are a publishing collective, who since their inception in 2018 have actively advocated writers from under-represented and minority groups.

Please note this recording contains strong language.

Public Knowledge is a new strand of programme happening monthly at Camden Arts Centre. It provides a platform for independent and expanded forms of publishing and distribution. The programme seeks to empower emerging or under-represented artists, musicians, poets and writers to introduce and discuss their work with new audiences through discussion, live performances, listening sessions, moving-image, and digital broadcasts. During the temporary closure of our building, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, events will now be hosted online at




Sascha Aurora Akhtar is a poet of the liminal; a performer with a background in Butoh, Music, Film & Photography. To Sascha, all is magic and she spends a great deal of time talking about this with her students, mentees & audiences at universities, centres for poetry & performance spaces. Sascha has been published by Salt UK, Shearsman UK, Contraband UK, Emma Press, Knives, Forks & Spoons Press & ZimZalla UK; she has six collections of poetry available. Her first book of translations is upcoming with Oxford University Press, India and her first fiction collection is to be published in Autumn 2020 with Wild Pressed Books. She works with energy in all things, especially poetry & considers herself a “Pakistani-British-American”: both these things are reflected in her work. She has been writing and performing internationally for two decades. All upcoming performance and teaching engagements are listed on her author page.

Peter Gizzi is the author of Archeophonics (Wesleyan, 2016), In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987-2011 (Wesleyan, 2014), Threshold Songs (Wesleyan, 2011), The Outernationale (Wesleyan, 2007), Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan, 2003), Artificial Heart (Burning Deck, 1998), and Periplum (Avec Books, 1992). He has also published several limited-edition chapbooks, folios, and artist books.
Recent honours include The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2005), and The Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Poetry at The University of Cambridge (2011, 2015-16). He has held residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Foundation of French Literature at Royaumont, Un Bureau Sur L’Atlantique, the Centre International de Poesie Marseille (cipM), and Tamaas.

Bhanu Kapil is the author of several full-length works: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (Leon Works, 2006/Kelsey Street Press, 2020), humanimal [a project for future children] (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), Schizophrene (Nightboat, 2011), Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat, 2016), and How to Wash a Heart (Pavilion Poetry, 2020). Bhanu will receive a Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry in September 2020. Since 2008, she has maintained a blog of everyday life, The Vortex of Formidable Sparkles.

Mira Mattar is a writer, editor and tutor. She has recently had work published in Tripwire and Zarf. She is a contributing editor at Mute / Metamute and co-edited Anguish Language: Writing and Crisis. She lives in south east London.

The 87 is a small press, publishing collective, events organiser, and platform for discussion. It was founded in 2018 by South London based poets Kashif Sharma-Patel, Azad Ashim Sharma, and architect Devin Maisuria. The 87 is committed to publishing the very best of bold, innovative and experimental writing from emerging and established writers. Publishing poetry, fiction and non-fiction, The 87 is especially interested in supporting writers from under-represented and minority groups. With this in mind, 87 Press seeks to maximise the space they offer writers.