Nisha Patel (She/Her)

Nisha Patel is an award-winning disabled queer spoken word author & artist. She was the City of Edmonton’s 8th Poet Laureate, and is a Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion. Her debut poetry collection, COCONUT (NeWest Press), speaks to her experiences as a Gujarati daughter of diaspora. She is also a dedicated teacher, mentor, and public speaker. Nisha’s latest works include her disability chapbook, NOT A DISORDER (Gap Riot Press).

Nisha was awarded the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award and is a finalist of the Vallum Chapbook Award. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she has been published by filling station, THIS Magazine, Edify, New Trail, Glass Buffalo, The Polyglot, and more, and has works in anthologies with The City Series (Frog Hollow Press), COVID Collections, and Hush No More: Poetry and Art to End Rape Culture. Nisha holds a Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University and is completing an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. 

Her work also includes visual and fine art, photography and digital design, and music, as she continues to explore how storytelling takes on a myriad of forms. 

Nisha has performed and taught workshops across Canada, participating in festivals, slams, and readings. After qualifying in Rio de Janeiro, she represented Canada in the 2022 Poetry Slam World Cup in Brussels. In the past, she has taught with the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, the Writers’ Union and League of Canadian Poets, and has juried extensively for the Edmonton Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She has acted as mentor and consultant as the Metro Edmonton Libraries Writer in Residence, the Nook Cafe Artist in Residence, and the Sewing Machine Factory Artist in Residence. She was also a Festival Producer and Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. 

Nisha works towards her goal of building a stronger artistic community through living in her truth.