Guest Poetry Curator Rachel Arnold introduces Kuli Kohli as the first ever Poet to be featured on Leaveners Poets Corner.
Rachel: ‘Valentines Day 2012. I was struck by Kuli’s deep words at a poetry reading. I loved her work and over the past couple of years I wondered where she went. This year a new café near me launched and invited poets to read on Valentines Day. And there she was again! Kuli’s work was part of a nice mix of love poetry, which can encapsulate all areas of life. She is my favourite Wolverhampton poet and I am proud to introduce Kuli as the first ever Poet to be featured in Leaveners Poets Corner! Please read, comment and share Kuli’s Poetry statement and poems!’
Poetry statement Kuli
“Let me introduce myself, my name is Kuli Kohli and I was born with mild cerebral palsy in northern India and moved to England at an early age. I am a writer, mother, wife and full-time council worker. My life’s experiences have encouraged my passion for writing, which has opened up all sorts of possibilities for me as I struggle to express myself through speech. Having the ability to write has made my life richer and more rewarding.
Last year, after five long years of planning, I put together a collection of my poetry called “Rag Doll”, comprised of different forms of poetry, prose and dialogue to give the reader a picture of my life. The title poem “Rag Doll” is dedicated to people with cerebral palsy and when you read it you will understand it portrays my feelings and experiences about CP perfectly. “Rag Doll” has sold more copies than I ever imagined. I have made so many new connections, and I have been invited to perform at many different locations in the West Midlands. I am really grateful that my experience of living with disability has been received well by all kinds of audiences. I have also written a novel -“Dangerous Games” – about living with cerebral palsy in an Asian household in Britain, which I am hoping to get published.
I have a very busy lifestyle – I live in an extended family, I have three growing children and I work at Wolverhampton City Council full time. Creating time to write can be very challenging, so I write when I have five minutes here and there – during my lunch hour, early in the mornings or late at night – whenever I can. I have been a dedicated member of Blakenhall Writers’ Group in Wolverhampton for six years, and now I help in the running of the group. It’s a space I can use to dedicate wholeheartedly to writing. I have received invaluable support from my writing mentor – poet and publisher, Simon Fletcher. I have had continuous encouragements from friends, colleagues and writers in Wolverhampton and elsewhere. Also I have been mentored by Jane Seabourne of Offa’s Press and I have been invited to perform my work at many different locations in the West Midlands.
Now I am proud to say that I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a published writer. This is simply the start.”
If you would to find out more about Kuli’s work, including her collection “Rag Doll” visit Kuli’s website: www.kulikohli.co.uk