The celebrated Kashmiri-American poet, Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001) would have turned seventy this year. Born in New Delhi in 1949, Shahid was instrumental in popularising the ghazal in the West and constantly interrogated the boundaries between cultures through his poetry. He published eight volumes of poetry including The Country Without a Post Office, The Half-Inch Himalayas, and A Nostalgist’s Map of America. His final collection, Rooms Are Never Finished, was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. He was not only a connoisseur of verse but was also an influential teacher who held teaching positions at nine universities and colleges in India and the United States. Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee (author of Looking for the Nation: Towards Another Idea of India, 2018) and Ravi Singh (co-founder of Speaking Tiger Books) will be in conversation with Manan Kapoor to celebrate his genius.
Ravi Singh is publisher and co-founder of Speaking Tiger Books, an independent publishing company based in Delhi. Before this, he was publisher and editor-in-chief with Penguin Books India and co-publisher with Aleph Book Company.
Nishat Zaidi is a Professor, Department of English at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. A scholar, critic and translator, she has a number of published works to her credit, including Makers of Indian Literature: Agha Shahid Ali (Sahitya Akademi, 2014). She has co-edited Story is a Vagabond: Fiction, Essays and Drama by Intizar Husain (Special Issue of Manoa, University of Hawaii, 2015), and translated Day and Dastan (Niyogi Books, 2018) by Intizar Husain.
Manan Kapoor is a writer at Sahapedia. He is the author of The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky, which was shortlisted for Sahitya Akademi's Yuva Award 2017.