Manisha Anjali is a Melbourne-based writer and performer. Drawing from oral storytelling practices from women mystics, saints and courtesans of the ancient world, she brings elements of mysticism, eroticism and magic into contemporary spaces. Her creative practice encompasses religious devotion, eroticism, mysticism, dream theory, plantation poetry and folk songs. Her influences range from ancient poets like Akka Mahadevi and Lal Ded, to contemporary voices like Pi O and Christina Conrad to filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky and artists like Leonora Carrington.
Manisha has performed at Melbourne Writers Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Bendigo Writers Festival, West Writers Forum, Newstead Short Story Tattoo and a number of art galleries, community festivals and poetry readings around Australia and New Zealand.
Her first collection of poems, Sugar Kane Woman, was released by Witchcraft Press in October 2016. Her work also appears in Seizure, Blackmail Press, IKA Journal, Blackmail Press and Lor Journal.
In 2013, Manisha was awarded a Hot Desk Fellowship by The Wheeler Centre. Her short story Goldie the Turtle won the People's Choice Award in the NZ Writers College Short Story Contest. She was also awarded the Senior English Prize by the University of Auckland.
In 2017, she graduated with First Class Honours in Creative Arts at Victoria University, where she composed a dramatic text comprised of poetry, theatre and song.
Manisha was part of the 2017 cohort of Emerging Cultural Leaders programme at Footscray Community Arts Centre. She is also the Events & Opps Editor at Asia Pacific Writers and Translators.