CLASS OF 2022: Wolverhampton’s ‘Wonder Woman’ poet awarded honorary degree
An inspiring poet has been awarded a Doctor of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton for being a true advocate for people with disabilities through the power of writing.
Originally from India, Kuli Kohli moved to Wolverhampton with her family at the age of two and has since lived and worked in the city, raising the profile of poetry.
Born with mild cerebral palsy, Kuli has faced a few struggles over the years but has overcome many obstacles by expressing herself through poetry.
Kuli discovered a true love for writing and poetry at a young age, inspired by her teacher at Penn Hall School in Wolverhampton.
Following education, Kuli enrolled on a youth training scheme, which led her to full time employment at Wolverhampton City Council for 32 years where she has worked in various roles and departments. She’s worked as a Welfare Rights Support Worker in Social Services for 20 years.
Alongside her role at the City Council, Kuli continued to pursue her passion for writing but kept her poetry private for many years.
In recent years, following lots of support and encouragement, Kuli shared her work and is now a published poet.
This success has given Kuli the confidence to perform poetry readings and has performed at many events, all over the world.
Kuli said: “I have had a passion for writing since childhood; being able to write has opened all sorts of possibilities for me because I struggle to express myself through speech. I would like to thank the University for this great honour, I never thought I would ever hold a degree, and this is another dream come true.
“I have been given invaluable guidance and encouragement by different people at different points of my life. Now it is my turn to pass on the knowledge I have gained over the years, if I can do this, so can you!”
Kuli’s latest full poetry collection of ‘A Wonder Woman’ - a powerful collection of poems of experience and wisdom, the innocence of the world and the wonder of its various beauties and struggles – launched last April.
The mother of three also runs a Punjabi Women’s Writing Group in Wolverhampton and was a dedicated member of Blakenhall Writers’ Group for over 10 years. She writes and is involved in many projects with Disability Arts Online.
Kuli’s emotional life story has also been featured on BBC News online and appeared on BBC One's Sunday Morning Live show.
Now retired from the Council, Kuli is now the City of Wolverhampton’s Poet Laureate – a two-year honorary position that encourages and raises the profile of poetry and the city.
Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise.
The University’s graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from Monday 5 September until Saturday 10 September 2022.
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