Mona Arshi is a poet and former human rights lawyer. She was born in London in 1970 to Punjabi parents and grew up in Hounslow. Arshi worked as a lawyer for the human rights charity Liberty for ten years before turning to poetry, wherein she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. It was while studying for her masters that she won the inaugural Magma poetry competition for her poem ‘Hummingbird’, and from there it was success after success: the Manchester Poetry Prize (2014), and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection (2015). Her Forward Prize-winning collection, Small Hands (2015), centred the slow detonation of grief after her brother’s death. A versatile stylist, Arshi says the poems that ‘make [her] pay close attention are those poems that arouse my ear first and foremost.’ Her other works include Dear Big Gods (2019), and Somebody Loves You (2021).