About Nazmi McCartney
Nazmi McCartney is a young poet from Edinburgh. She has been writing poetry since she was 13, and much of her work explores loss, loneliness and her search for peace in the inner world.
Other than writing, she enjoys collecting colourful socks and sipping green tea.
The poems were written in Nazmi's bedroom mostly between December 2020 and March 2021, where she had already spent most of a year cooped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Nazmi and two family members had underlying conditions, she had been almost completely isolated since the pandemic began.
'I chose to write these poems on the themes of loss, loneliness and solace. I sought to hold big and overwhelming feelings in imagery that is delicate and soft around the edges.
'It was a new experience for me to write poetry according to a deadline and with the knowledge that it would be shared publicly. This pushed me to produce work I was especially proud of in the end. Fresh Ink has been a wonderful experience in which I've seen myself develop further as a writer in a few short months, and I'm so grateful to share some of my experience of 2020 in this way.'
Nadine Aisha Jassat's comments
Poet, writer and creative practitioner Nadine Aisha Jassat led the Fresh Ink initiative. She writes about Nazmi's commission:
'I love the tender wisdom and subtle sensitivity of Nazmi McCartney. Their sequence of poems moves from fairytale imagery, to stark honesty, to deep imagination and longing to explore and invoke the loneliness and isolation of the pandemic.
'Nazmi's poems carry a longing and an emotional depth that I think speaks to loneliness and desolation not just of the pandemic but of those feelings in and of themselves; the experiences so gently held and so tenderly translation on the page. These are poems to read and reflect on again and again, and to quote Nazmi, when I do: "I think I feel less lonely. Thank you."'