From the publisher:
‘The Courtesans Reply’ is a long poem sequence in the voices of Indian courtesans – women famed for their skills in music, dancing, storytelling and the art of love. Playing on historical findings, and drawing inspiration from the monologue plays of the Caturbhani and The Complete Kama Sutra, these poems give voice once again to the courtesans – and the men they loved – after centuries of silence. Shazea Quraishi was born in Pakistan and lived in Canada and Spain before moving to London. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and journals in the UK and US including Ten (Bloodaxe), The Financial Times, Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation and PN Review. In 2008 she was one of ten poets selected for The Complete Works, a two-year professional development programme for Black and Asian poets. Since 2010, Shazea has worked with English PEN’s Readers & Writers programme as a creative writing tutor in refugee centres and prisons. She also teaches Improving English through Creativity – a programme she developed – at a refuge for South Asian women. ‘The Courtesans Reply’, is being adapted as a play.