Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali is the author of five volumes of poetry, including The Country Without a Post Office (1997), Bone Sculpture (1972), In Memory of Begum Akhtar and Other Poems (1979), The Half-Inch Himalayas (1987), A Walk Through the Yellow Pages (1987), A Nostalgist's Map of America (1991), and The Beloved Witness: Selected Poems (1992). He is also the author of T. S. Eliot as Editor (1986) and has translated the work of Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems (1992).

Of Ali, poet and activist Carolyn Forché has written, "Although not an American poet, Agha Shahid Ali is one of the finest young poets in America....[he] so artfully sustains his contemplation that upon entering his work we experience the play of light through the many prisms of his intelligence."

Ali was born in New Delhi on February 4, 1949. He grew up Muslim 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. He has held teaching positions at the University of Delhi, Penn State, SUNY Binghamton, Hamilton College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Poems by Agha Shahid Ali

The Dacca Gauzes


A Villanelle




    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 1998 (with Susan Snively)