Poet. Speaker. Sacred Activist.
Maya is a published poet, experienced broadcaster, trained mental health engagement worker and has worked as a manager and hypnotherapist. She is also a qualified astrologer.
Born in multicultural London to an Indian family and raised in the northern town of Barnsley, Maya sadly lost her mother to Leukaemia at the age of nine. This life event had a profound impact on her future path and she has since devoted much of her life to helping people make sense of grief. She speaks powerfully and eloquently about the related themes of misogyny, racism and the colonial trauma that she experienced as a result of her early life circumstances.
In this global moment of heightened scrutiny and action against racism and inequality, Maya is a formidable leader of the ‘uncomfortable conversations’. She believes strongly in healthy conflict resolution as a powerful tool for healing divides between communities and is passionate about connecting to our indigenous roots, wherever we originate from.
A lifelong poet and writer with a BA Hons in English and Creative Writing, Maya’s debut book of poetry, Half Woman Half Grief, speaks from a place of truth, trauma and healing for anyone who has experienced grief of any kind; personal, collective, environmental and colonial. She vulnerably explores the desperate sadness, fury, and shame she experienced on her healing journey, and helps others to do the same.
She’s had the honour of speaking to thousands of young people about mental health in schools, colleges and universities, as well as speaking on BBC Radio about grief, identity, femme empowerment and bullying.
As an engagement worker, she ran weekly mental health hubs for young people and created and facilitated various training sessions and workshops, including creative writing for mental health. She has also worked in the field of domestic abuse and written about forced marriage for the organization Operation Black Vote. She recently collaborated with gender equality organization TIGER to create and run a Femme Empowerment workshop, which was featured in Bristol 24/7.
She has also recently joined speaker and presenter Daniel Edmund on his powerful Race and Gender Unfiltered podcast and is featured in his upcoming documentary about race and gender.
Most recently, her debut book of poetry and work around grief was featured in Bristol Magazine's October 2020 issue.
Half Woman Half Grief
Released in paperback and e-book
on October 31st 2020
I’m not here to sugar-coat grief. I’m here to be transformed by it.
This powerfully vulnerable book invites us to grieve. Having lost her mother at the age of nine, Maya has spent her life navigating her way through the myriad of emotions which surround death. In her debut collection of poetry, she maps her journey into the mysterious underworld of grief and the extraordinary lessons she learned in the darkness.
Get in touch
Speaking with Maya, she explains how the idea to run a workshop with TIGER started: “They approached us and we jumped at the chance. It’s an issue very close to my heart. I identify as female, come from an Indian heritage and have spent the last few years questioning, challenging and finally denouncing a lot of the cultural and patriarchal value systems that contributed negatively to my mental health for years.
“I talk to a lot of young people who struggle in similar ways to myself, and this seemed like a fantastic opportunity to create a more focused, inspirational yet practical space where young people felt safe and supported in challenging oppressive systems and learning tried and tested tools for doing so.”