Taz Rahman is 45 and from Cardiff. He started writing poetry in 2019 and has been a regular performer in the Cardiff open mic poetry scene ever since. His poems have been published in the South Bank Poetry magazine, Love the Words, International Dylan Thomas Day 2020 poetry competition winner’s anthology, Where I’m Coming From anthology 2019, and in the upcoming Poems for Independence anthology edited by Mike Jenkins (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2021). He is also the founder of Just Another Poet, Wales’ first YouTube channel dedicated to poetry, and the founding editor of long-running legal news archive blog Lawnewsindex.com.
How do you envisage the programme will help you in terms of your development?
“Firstly, I realise how competitive opportunities like these tends to be. The list of names as previous recipients of Literature Wales development and mentorship programmes reads like a list of established literary luminaries working in Wales and beyond presently. Therefore, it is humbling to have been selected as part of such a prestigious national development programme and it feels like an enormous recognition of my potential as an emerging writer, which in itself gives me an element of confidence to work even harder on my writing practice. Secondly, having experienced shorter mentorship and support programmes in 2020 and noting the enormous impact these have had on refining my style of writing and encouragement to pursue goals makes me convinced that a year-long support opportunity shall instil a lasting sense of confidence in my ability to think clearly and create. Finally, having tasted a little of the opportunities that came from an association with Literature Wales as part of the literary commission I received in 2020, I feel that there would be even greater literary opportunities to be had from a year-long development programme.
What are you most looking forward to as part of the programme? What are you hoping to achieve by taking part?
“I am most looking forward to working with my mentor, receive invaluable critical feedback on my style of writing as well as guidance on the publishing world. Writing is a lonely business and while writer’s groups and open-mic events could potentially allow a writer to receive an element of feedback, there really is no substitute to guidance from an established writer in the privacy of a one to one relationship. The creative process for me is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration and the perspiration part is all about working hard through reading, research and challenge oneself to reach goals. I’ve worked very hard on my writing practice over the last two years and my expectation is that as a result of the development programme, I shall be able to channel my inspiration appropriately and reap even greater reward through completing meaningful projects, all of which could lead to even more publication opportunities, features at literary events and collaboration opportunities.”
As a writer, where would you like to be in 5 years?
“This is such a challenging question. While I am aware of my potential and the ability to work my pants off, I am painfully aware of how much of a work in progress I am as a writer. I would like to have had a first poetry collection under my belt and a collection of short stories published in the next five years. Should this be achieved, I feel as if I shall have the confidence to get back to working on a novel I have been working on and off during the last few years.”