January 2021: Recipient 005, Muksood Shaikh

We are very excited to announce the fifth recipient: Muksood Shaikh. Muksood sent us a chapter extract from a longer work, and we were honestly blown away by it. His writing is extensive and sprawling, looking searchingly at racism, corruption, local party politics, and individuals in search of power. The work he sent over is auto-biographical; but it’s also this fluid, challenging, pace-y thing. It pulls away from more comforting narratives about marginalised sections of society, towards an honest dark realism, written with an astonishingly lyrical but unsentimental prose. We’re big fans.

Bio: Muksood Shaikh is 66; born in India, he has lived in Tower Hamlets since the age of 7. Growing up in East London in the 60s, he faced racism and violence, leaving school without the ability to read or write. He went back into education at 34, and began working as a youth and community worker in Tower Hamlets, soon establishing youth projects that received national acclaim. Since then, he’s been writing continuously; about his life and experience, friends and people that he meets and events throughout.

Links below if you want to read his work: