Full Nelson by Ajaz Qureshi


Does post-industrial Nelson have a voice? Does it speak to us? For us? Is the canal still its lifeblood? Do the mills still keep it alive?

During Ajaz’s time as writer-in-residence on the canal boat, the RV Furor Scribendi, he tried to discover just this and articulate the socio-cultural significance of Nelson in a sequence of poetry.

What came was Full Nelson. A dedication to the town and its people and the places in it, especially its working class history and relationship to the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

Precise in its imagery, with a combination of spare lyricism and direct, everyday language, Full Nelson explores the heart of Nelson, as well as touching upon the journey towards its ‘greater meadow’.

Ajaz Qureshi is a British South Asian writer, teacher, and artist from Nelson, Lancashire. He holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing, and an MA in Creative Practice, receiving distinctions. His creative practice revolves around the intersections of culture and heritage, place and community, and individual and plural identity.

Ajaz found his art at the ripe age of 16 during a three-month retreat into a hermitage on a Lancashire farm. He has since been longlisted and shortlisted for literary prizes, most notably, The Nature Writing Prize (2023) and the Mono Poetry Prize (2023). He has been commissioned to produce poetry and short stories for arts and cultural organisations around the globe, with work featured and performed nationally and internationally.

Previously, Ajaz has worked as a teacher and a course coordinator for language and teaching-based institutions around the world, including Heriot-Watt University and the Centre of English Studies in Edinburgh, Saudi Electronic University in Saudi Arabia, MLA (Moving Language Ahead) in Italy, and Pendle Vale College in his hometown, Nelson, where he presently resides, reconnecting to his familial and cultural roots. Currently, he is the director of ‘To Whom Editorial’ - a writing, tutoring, and coaching service.

Full Nelson is his first publication.

Follow Ajaz Qureshi @sincereintentions

1 of 3