Kitab Khana invites you to spend an evening with the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, presented by Aspi Mistry, at the Poetry Corner on Wednesday, 15th January at 6:00 p.m

15-Jan-2014
6:00 pm
Kitab Khana

Dear Readers,
 
Date & Time:
6:00 pm,Wednesday, 
15th January, 2014.
 
Kashmir shrinks into my mailbox,
my home a neat four by six inches.
 
I always loved neatness. Now I hold
the half-inch Himalayas in my hand.. 
 
Agha Shahid Ali
 
"The passing away of Aga Shahid Ali in 2001 was a collective loss to Kashmir- the most eloquent Kashmiri-English poet, a writer of unmatched elegance and virtuosity, a chronicler of pain- his poetry is the very stuff of beauty, loss and redemption. His death deprived Kashmir of one of its most potent cultural voices...."  - Dr. Iffat Maqbool, University of Kashmir, 
 
Agha Shahid Ali was born in New Delhi on February 4, 1949. He grew up in Kashmir, and was later educated at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar, and University of Delhi. He earned a Ph.D. in English from Pennsylvania State University in 1984, and an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona in 1985.
 
His volumes of poetry include Call Me Ishmael Tonight: A Book of Ghazals (W.W. Norton & Co., 2003), Rooms Are Never Finished (2001), The Country Without a Post Office (1997), The Beloved Witness: Selected Poems (1992), A Nostalgist's Map of America (1991), A Walk Through the Yellow Pages (1987), The Half-Inch Himalayas (1987), In Memory of Begum Akhtar and Other Poems (1979), and Bone Sculpture (1972). He is also the author of T. S. Eliot as Editor (1986), translator of The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1992), and editor of Ravishing Disunities: Real Ghazals in English (2000).
 
Ali received fellowships from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and was awarded a Pushcart Prize. He held teaching positions at the University of Delhi, Penn State, SUNY Binghamton, Princeton University, Hamilton College, Baruch College, University of Utah, and Warren Wilson College. Agha Shahid Ali died on December 8, 2001.
 
Aspi Mistry is the Coordinator and founder member of the Dharma Rain Centre for Buddhist Studies. A poetry lover and a practicing Buddhist interested in all spiritual traditions, he is a Free Tibet and human rights activist, who likes to say, with apologies to Shantideva, “May I be a thorn in the sides of those who desperately need a thorn in their sides…”
 
This is home. And this the closest
I'll ever be to home. When I return,
the colors won't be so brilliant,
the Jhelum's waters so clean,
so ultramarine. My love
so overexposed.
 
And my memory will be a little
out of focus, in it
a giant negative, black
and white, still undeveloped. (Postcard from Kashmir - Aga Shahid Ali)
 
 
Thanks
 
Rukhsar Lokhandwala
 

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