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New Writer 2023: Medha Singh


Medha Singh headshot

Medha Singh is a poet, translator, and editor. She is editor of Berfrois, London. She has published a work of translation, a collection of love letters that she translated from the French, penned by Indian modernist painter Sayed Haider Raza during his time in France, I Will Bring My Time: Love Letters by S.H. Raza (Vadehra Art Gallery, 2020).

Her work has appeared in Almost Island, Hotel, Berfrois, Interpret, 3:AM, Indian Quarterly, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Poetry at Sangam and The Charles River Journal, among others. Her work has been anthologized in Singing in the Dark (Penguin, 2020), The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction (Hachette, 2021), Contemporary Indian Poetry by Younger Indians (Sahitya Akademi, 2020), Best Indian Poetry 2018 (RLFPA editions), Divining Dante (Recent Work Press, 2021), Future Library: Contemporary Indian Writing (Red Hen Press, 2022), Converse: Contemporary English Poetry by Indians (Penguin Random House, 2022); The Best Asian Poetry (Kitaab, 2022). Her work has been translated into Hindi, Spanish and French.

Her interviews have appeared on the website of The Pablo Neruda Foundation, Chile; NERObooks, Boston; POV, Denmark, Queen Mob's Teahouse, London and JCAM, Massachusettes. among others.

Medha was longlisted for the Toto Funds the Arts Awards (India) in 2019 and 2020. She took her MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her collection of poems is forthcoming.

Writing sample

I Hear Father is Dead in Another Country

One is as old as the days they remember.

Some make us age quicker, better.

Some slow in pace: something between a wish

and a prayer, something

that is both. Some call it hope. It's not.

Light sweeping the white sand, across

the cool and quiet sea. Here, his consoling hand

on my face; fast arriving, a withered brow,

reaching, touching,

brown, low. A breathing sound follows one here,

to a world ebbing in the cormorant's lair. He will

never now, come to comb my hair, to save me

from the wrong affairs. There, the long shroud

falls from the sky, drops upon his corpse,

makes its way to the pyre. Loud ash

from other burning bodies

flying in my sister's hair. Somewhere unknown

among the birds, one will find his verse.

This black hearse roots in my bones,

on a continent far, too far from home.

Medha says:

'I am grateful to the Scottish Book Trust and the judges of the New Writers Award for choosing my entry among the horde of talented writers I know to freckle the ebullient and plentiful world of Scottish arts and letters.'