What is it about a wicked woman that instantly enthralls us? Why should difficult and different instantly mean dangerous? Reimagining ancient myths and archetypes, poet Nikita Gill brings some of literature’s most maligned or underwritten female characters out of the shadows. From Medusa to Lillith, she challenges our ingrained fear of the ‘difficult’ woman as hard, unnurturing and unmaternal. She shows us how powerful women would be if we only protected and helped each other and why “softness” in women is often another way of men telling them to be quiet. By taking stories that historically pit women against one another or even leave them in the shadows altogether, Nikita seizes control of the narrative, encouraging her protagonists to disobey the patriarchal rules and live for themselves. Nikita Gill is one of the most exciting young writers working today. She tells stories through the mediums of verse, prose and the stage. She has embraced social media to share her writing, and is the UK’s most followed poet. Nikita was raised in New Delhi, before moving to the UK to do her Masters. She originally planned to move back to India, but chose instead to stay here and focus on her writing, working as a cleaner, and then as a carer to do so. Nikita’s most recent collection is Great Goddesses (2019), a stunning illustrated collection of stories and poems about goddesses from Greek mythology, which retell and reimagine the well-known stories of Hera, Athena, Scylla, and many more. Her many other projects include Maidens, Myths and Monsters, a one woman show inspired by Fierce Fairytales, and a children’s play entitled The Krumpus. Nikita is a National Poetry Day ambassador, and speaks at festivals and events throughout the country all year round. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

Nikita Gill

Poet and writer

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