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.