“For as long as I can remember it seemed natural that I should want to be a writer and storyteller myself. It is wonderful to see the many similarities between stories from different cultures. Even the differences are remarkable.”
Poet and children’s author
Training with Jack
A tale to make you jump.
A writer who inspires me
Debjani Chatterjee in conversation with Bashabi Fraser
A many-faceted career
Debjani Chatterjee MBE FRSL has been called a poet ‘full of wit and charm’ (Andrew Motion), ‘Britain’s best-known Asian poet’ (Elisabetta Marino) and a ‘national treasure’ (Barry Tebb). She grew up in India, Japan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Egypt and Morocco, before settling in England. She studied at five universities: Cairo, Kent, Lancaster, Sheffield and Leeds. She has worked in industry, teaching, community relations and creative arts psychotherapy. An acclaimed international poet, children’s writer, translator, Olympic torchbearer and storyteller, her awards include an MBE for services to Literature, Sheffield Hallam University’s honorary doctorate, and Word Masala’s Lifetime Achievement in Poetry Award.
A former Chair of the National Association of Writers in Education and the Arts Council’s Translation Panel, she is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and patron of Survivors Poetry. She has had residencies at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Ilkley Literature Festival, Barbican Centre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and various universities. Her 70+ books include: The Elephant- Headed God & Other HinduTales – a Children’s Book of the Year, Animal Antics, Namaskar: New and Selected Poems, and Do You Hear the Storm Sing? Her anthologies include The Redbeck Anthology of British South Asian Poetry and Barbed Lines.