Fri, 29 January 2021
In this podcast, we bring you poems that take the form of messages from afar, the poets are addressing loved ones but communicating to the reader as well, the implied distance between the writer and the addressee standing in for personal and emotional distance.
Kajal Ahmad was born in Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1967, Kajal Ahmad began publishing her remarkable poetry at the age of 21 and has gained a considerable reputation for her brave, poignant and challenging work throughout the Kurdish-speaking world. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Norwegian and now, for the first time, into English.
Noshi Gillani was born in Pakistan in 1964. The candour and frankness of her highly-charged poems is unusual for a woman writing in Urdu and she has gained a committed international audience, performing regularly at large poetry gatherings in Pakistan, Australia, Canada and the US. Unknown outside the Pakistani community, the translations here mark her introduction to an English-speaking audience.
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Fri, 15 January 2021
We start 2021 with two poets whose poems have narrative strands, one is a fairy tale complete with daemons and the other is a sketch of the life of an economic migrant who fears the host of his wife.
Shakila Azizzada was born in Kabul in Afghanistan in 1964. During her middle school and university years in Kabul, she started writing stories and poems, many of which were published in magazines. Her poems are unusual in their frankness and delicacy, particularly in the way she approaches intimacy and female desire, subjects which are rarely adressed by women poets writing in Dari.
Mohammad Bagher Kolahi Ahari was born in 1950 in Mashhad, Khorasan. His first collection Above the Four Elements was published in 1977. He published six more collections of poetry. Kolahi has developed his distinct voice inspired by lyrical and elegiac traditions of Persian poetry combined with his story-telling talent. Many of Kolahi’s poems contain a narrative containing elements of folk tales and description of rural Khorasan. In his poems, he very often depicts the life and the stories of marginalized groups of the society like gypsies, petty criminals and labourers.