Young People's Laureate for London Momtaza Mehri's first encounter with poetry was through cassette tapes

Momtaza Mehri has written about diaspora, displacement and the cognitive dissonance of visiting Somalia - which she did at age 11 - and realising it was not the fairytale she had built up in her head.
Momtaza Mehri has written about diaspora, displacement and the cognitive dissonance of visiting Somalia - which she did at age 11 - and realising it was not the fairytale she had built up in her head.ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

SINGAPORE - It was not in dusty tomes that British poet Momtaza Mehri first encountered poetry, but through spoken-word cassette tapes that her father, a Somali immigrant, would play in the car.

Today, she composes poems in bursts on a phone app while taking the bus or train, then painstakingly edits them. "Poetry is all about the editing," she says. "A poem is made in the edit, in my opinion."

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