SASHA TERFOUS is one of the most gifted artists on the Irish spoken word scene. She was born in New Ross, co. Wexford, and has emerged from the vibrant art community of the South-East of Ireland. She was brought up loving books and began writing poetry and short stories as a teen. In 2016 she moved to neighbouring Waterford, where she started attending open mics and joined the Word Up Collective, a group of artists and musicians with an eclectic mix of spoken word poetry and music who have been building an international reputation. Since then, her career has escalated. In 2019 she participated in the Female Tribes project, a large global study on the condition of women in Ireland. Her explosive poem Warrior Women reacts the findings of the research and challenges the commonly-held notion that there has never been a better time to be a woman in Ireland.
Sasha has performed in for Red Bull, RTE Ireland, Dance to Connect, as well as at the Electric Picnic, Other Voices, All Together Now, as well as with Wooden Elephant on their German performances of Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, for Dublin Fringe Festival’s Like A Riot Grrrl and alongside the RTE Concert Orchestra. In 2020, beside writing extensively and passionately in response to BLM, she has performed for the online edition of Bloomsday with Aidan Gillen, David Norris and Glen Hansard and has read her poem Identity in a poetry short film commissioned by the Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation in New York.
For Terfous, who has suffered because of homophobia and racism, art is a form of activism, an investigation of issues that need addressing and an invitation to listen to voices that need to be heard. Identity, human experience, the enquiry into one’s identity and the acknowledgment of diversity are themes at the core of her poetry. Art has empowered her transforming the challenges she has faced into opportunities to grow and speak out.
“The one thing I have also promised myself, however, is that I will never overshadow someone else’s voice with my own.” – SASHA TERFOUS, Portrait of an Artist by Derek Flynn.