Sanah Ahsan is an award-winning poet, writer, clinical psychologist and educator. Sanah works in the cracks, revering our messy emotional landscapes, and the wild edges of falling apart. Their psychological practice is rooted in liberation and community psychology, drawing on embodiment, therapeutics and poetics as life-affirming practices, to support racialised and marginalised people. Their published research is on the deconstruction of whiteness within UK clinical psychology.
Sanah's work centers compassion and embracing each other's madness; they have written regularly for The Guardian and presented a Channel 4 documentary on the over-medicalisation of people’s distress. Some of Sanah's media work includes delivering a TEDX talk and giving a keynote for Google and ADCOLOUR in LA. Sanah is the lead psychologist at several healing justice-led organisations, such as Art Against Knives and Beyond Equality. Sanah is working on a non-fiction book about the politics of distress, and society’s relationship with unruly emotions. Sanah’s debut poetry collection "I cannot be good until You say it" is forthcoming with Bloomsbury in March 2024.
Sanah was a recipient of the Outspoken Poetry Performance Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, White Review Poetry Prize, Bridport Poetry Prize, Frontier Poetry Prize and longlisted for the National Poetry Competition. They are a member of The Racial Imaginary Institute led by Claudia Rankine, and an alumni of The Southbank’s New Poet’s Collective and BBC Words First. Their poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Poetry Review, Rialto, The London Magazine, Poetry Wales, Propel, Wasafiri, The White Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, 14 Poems amongst others, and anthologised by several presses, including Pan-Macmillan. Sanah’s poems have been featured on Channel 4 and BBC 4, and reviewed by The Guardian as "an exhilarating declaration of love and an invocation to bare the soul.”
Some of Sanah’s psychologically informed work has included: facilitating embodied spaces to deconstruct whiteness for a wide range of professionals, creating an anti-racist psychology curriculum for secondary schools across Wales, building anti-racism as a core competence for clinical psychology training at the University of Hertfordshire, and facilitating monthly embodied care spaces for black and brown people at The Barbican.