Shamshad was a leading member of Commonword’s Identity writers’ group in the late 80’s. Commonword published her poetry first in its anthologies, Flame 1990 and Healing Strategies For Women At War, 1999. She first performed alongside Lemn Sissay and Cheryl Martin in Manchester. She has gone on to become a poet of national repute, with a poetry collection Megalomaniac published by Salt and associated shows that have toured nationally and featured at international festivals. Her shows have included collaborations with musicians, directors and beatboxers. She runs Hard Rain a monthly creative writing workshop and poetry night in Levenshulme, Manchester.
I can’t imagine having developed as a writer without the support and inspiration provided by Commonword. It is a visionary organisation that continues to create opportunities and raise aspirations for writers from all sorts of backgrounds.