‘From PT, by Yaz Nin

Creative Writing

From PT, by Yaz Nin

Yaz Nin’s From PT is one of three pieces of original work commissioned for the Deptford Literature Festival 2024.

About the Disabled Writers Commissions

Spread the Word’s Disabled Writers Commissions aim to showcase new work by three London-based disabled writers. They provide a developmental and profile-raising opportunity. The commissions’ open call, judged by Ayesha Chouglay and Joe Rizzo Naudi, invited disabled writers to put forward their ideas against an open brief.

The commissioned writers – Yaz Nin, Jameisha Prescod and Jacqueline Ennis Cole and Sofia Lyall of *AMPLE Collective – received a commission fee, an activation budget and developmental support including mentoring from Esther Fox, Peter deGraft-Johnson and Jill Abram.

About Yaz Nin

Yaz Nin is a Kibris born, London raised writer. Her short plays have been staged across the UK, her poetry published in several publications including Oxford poetry, 14magazine and Propel (online). In 2023 her full length play Mount View Road was longlisted for the woven prizes award.

Yaz’s commissioned work is a short film of a prose piece – a letter to a previous tenant – which explores the theme of precarious housing and the invisible chain of community and connection. It is an expression of solidarity and empathy with a lived knowledge of the reality of living in London for many.

From PT was commissioned by Spread the Word and first presented as a film at the 2024 Deptford Literature Festival.

From PT by Yaz Nin


The film opens in a dark room. We see the suggestion of a wooden floor and a rough skirting board. A projector flickers to life. As the voiceover narrates a letter, the projector displays a series of slides, which transition with a whirring click. The slides show: an abstract, rocky texture; the bottom of a wooden door with a rolled up towel beside it; a dim room with a rumpled bed and black mould covering the walls; children’s wooden building blocks on a table; a dark blue sock pegged to a washing line; portraits of recent UK prime ministers; thirteen empty silver tealight cases; and a mattress pulled back from a wall to reveal more mould. Finally, the camera pans from the projector screen to settle on a view from the room’s small, grimy window. We see a twilight London cityscape: distant points of light shine from dark tower blocks and a leafy tree branch is silhouetted against the peachy blue sky.

Audio Description

This audio description of Yaz Nin’s work, From PT, was written and recorded by Joe Rizzo Naudi. Joe was one of the judges working on the Disabled Writers Commissions.

Transcript: From PT

That dripping doesn’t stop.

I understand the relief you first felt when you saw the sink in this room, but get used to the dripping.

The rock in the corner under the window is there to keep the rats out. I highly recommend you don’t move it. It is the best I could do.

The mice get in from the shared hallway, I have rolled up towels and placed them in the gap under the door. You could try the same, but it is no guarantee.

I am sorry I don’t know your name. I was “the previous tenant” call me PT, or do as I do and rename me in your mother tongue.

I play this silly game of “in my country you would be named” it has kept me entertained. But floored me when I do meet people whose names are from my motherland.

The rule book to this game – if there were to be one would advise renaming this person with an  “English” name but I can’t do this yet. So maybe it is not a game, or maybe I will never “win” at this game. I don’t know, but call me what you need to, friend.

They only told me yesterday I was being moved. And I thought of you.

When I moved in two years ago (they called it temporary) there was a sock. Dark blue with a faded white print. I am unclear what that print once was. I have spent hours trying to decipher this in the hope of a clear message – but no. This is the cave painting that I lived with and now carry in my pocket.

For some inexplicable reason I knew the previous tenant had left this for me. It was clean and neatly placed in the top drawer of the wonky table.

That man in St Anns library that will talk to you for hours, have you been yet? Told me when powerful leaders leave their post, they leave a letter for the next leader.

That sock was my letter and this is yours.

I hope you are warm. I so badly hope you are warm.

I know you have had a so called “journey” If I advise you to raise any problems with your case worker or Jeff at the front I am guessing you too will roll your eyes at this.

Do they tap those biro pens on leaflets when talking to you and circling information in a loud voice? Do you know yet those telephone numbers don’t result in a solution?

I wish I could be more optimistic. What I am trying to say is “I know” and you are not alone no matter how cold this room will get.

On top of the wardrobe, you will find empty silver tealight candle cases. I could not bring myself to throw these away. Whenever I enter a new residence I look to where my grandparents would put our neatly wrapped Quran and light candles in its place.

I hope you have read between the lines here, that grief is mine not yours, this is not melodrama on paper – you need to understand this for survival in London.

I could light those candles for years because the fire alarms do not work.

I moved the bed to expose the damp and mould, I am sure they moved it back to cover it. I don’t know what to advise other than please know it is there. I am certain it is the reason for the obscure nightmares I have had in this room.

I am not a poet or philosopher but the way I think of London is as one big dancefloor. You and I don’t get to pick the music or the steps. But the lights, no matter what the music and if you can, can’t want to or don’t want to dance  – the lights are the saving grace, be it artificial or those majestic skylines out of that manky window.

I have tried to style this part of the letter in an official way but failed – I looked to understand the font the home office uses but could not work it out. I want you to know, to have read this in English – in the language that translated you into a case number,

You are not a case number.  You are not a case number. Our decision is final, you are not a case number.


(C) Yaz Nin, 2024