Mimi Khalvati is a poet and creative-writing tutor. She was born in Tehran, Iran. At the age of six, she was sent to boarding school on the Isle of Wight where she spent her childhood. She attended Drama Centre, London and worked in repertory in the UK before returning to Iran, where she worked at the Theatre Workshop, Tehran as a director, also relearning her first language, Farsi. On the birth of her daughter, she returned to England, continuing to work on the fringe while raising children.
She started writing poetry after attending an Arvon Foundation course. On the publication of her pamphlet Persian Miniatures (a co-winner of the Smith/Doorstop competition in 1989), she gave up theatre work to concentrate on her writing. She has since published seven poetry collections with Carcanet Press: In White Ink (1991), Mirrorwork (1995), which won an Arts Council England writers’ award, Entries on Light (1997), Selected Poems (2000), The Chine (2002), The Meanest Flower (2007), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, and Child: new and selected poems, a Poetry Book Society special commendation. The Weather Wheel was published by Carcanet in 2014.
In 1997 Mimi founded the Poetry School and has co-edited its anthologies of new writing, including Tying the Song and Entering the Tapestry (Enitharmon, 2000 and 2003). She continues to teach for the Poetry School and to work as a freelance poetry tutor. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the English Association.