Spine 2024 AiRs

Zohab is part of SPINE Festival 2024, along with an incredible team of poets they’ll be leading workshops and arts activities for children in Libraries and schools across London this Spring.

Describe yourself in 3 words…

Globetrotting Poetic Adventurer.

What inspires you?

Those in my family that came before me. The last four generations of my family have all migrated across the globe to one country or another. I often try and reflect upon the struggles that they must have faced. As I look around London I see many first and second genera8on migrants who are doing their absolute best to create a better lives for themselves and their coming genera8ons. We all come from centuries of sacrifice. Knowing that past genera8ons went through trials so that we can live the way we do now is something that inspires and reminds me of how incredibly fortune I am.

Tell us about your worst ever gig?

I once performed at a Community Festival in Melbourne and the logistics were a disaster. The stage was set up right next to an extremely loud ride and a Ferris wheel. The section between the stage and the audience was being used by passers-by as a walkway…. AND the cherry on top was when some young ruffians arrived halfway through my set and started boo’ing me.

I didn’t take the boo’ing personal and I just kept performing. In hindsight I’m glad that I had that as an experience, I think I’m a better performer for it.

What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

Maybe I’m showing my age, but people who read off their phones. If you have to read, I think it should be from a book. But they’re best when memorised.

Whose words do you love at the moment?

I’m currently reading George The Poet’s first collection Search Party

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Travel even more! Write even more! Share even more! Let your feet wonder and write about those journeys so that others can feel the same earth under their feet. You are incredibly fortunate, keep creating and it’ll work out.

How do you relate to the themes of magic & imagination?

Magic and Imagination are everything. Every idea that we see in the world once lived inside someone’s mind. The world is magic. As a poet I sit and stare a lot. I’ll stare at anything, if you just sit and stare for long enough the magic that resides inside will make itself known. Stare at a leaf for a while and tell me that it is not magic that this elliptic green lamina gets energy from a fiery ball of gas 150 million kilometres away. Half my day is spent thinking of magic and letting that magic do backflips inside my imagination.

What do you enjoy most about working with children, families and libraries?

The ability to make change. By encouraging children to express their ideas through poetry, I think we make the world better. I think I get a great return on my effort when I work in spaces like libraries. Libraries are already set up to get people thinking in new and exciting ways, I think when you add poetry to such a place, amazing things start to happen.

If you could compete in any Olympic sport and excel, what would it be?

Volleyball! If I wasn’t a poet, I probably would have been a professional volleyball player.

About Zohab zee Khan

Zohab Zee Khan is a Performance Poet and Wellness Coach.

Zohab has conducted over a thousand poetry and self- development workshops across the globe. His work seamlessly integrates Urdu and Punjabi as he paints poetic pictures of family, heritage, and a better world. His first poetry collection “I Write” reached best-seller status in Australia within months of its release. In 2014 he became the National Poetry Slam Champion of Australia and has performed his poetry at some of the world’s premier writers’ festivals. As a 4th generation Australian of Pakistani heritage, Zohab has channeled his distinct life experiences into stories with the intent to educate.

Insta: @zohabzeekhan
Twitter: @zohabzee
Website: www.zohabzee.com

About SPINE Festival 2024: