(Last Updated on : 19/05/2015)
Agha Shahid Ali was a notable Indian poet. He is remembered for his works like A Walk through the Yellow Pages, A Nostalgist's Map of America, The Country without a Post Office, Rooms Are Never Finished and many others. Apart from his writing career, he served as a teacher at nine universities and colleges in India and the United States. The University of Utah Press awards the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize annually" in memory of him. He was the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards and a finalist for the National Book Award.
Early Life and Education of Agha Shahid Ali
He was born on February, 1949 in Srinagar
, Jammu and Kashmir
. He received his education
from the University of Kashmir
and the Hindu College
, 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.
Career of Agha Shahid Ali
Ali was a translator of the Urdu
poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He was also the editor for the Middle East and Central Asia segment of Jeffery Paine's Poetry of Our World. He also worked as a teacher. He taught at the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at University of Massachusetts Amherst, at the MFA Writing Seminars at Bennington College as well as at creative writing programs at University of Utah, Baruch College, Warren Wilson College, Hamilton College and New York University.
Works of Agha Shahid Ali
He started publishing his works in the early 1970s. However, he received recognition in 1987 for his book A Walk through the Yellow Pages. The book received widespread recognition and was characterized as a surreal world of nightmare, fantasy, incongruity, wild humor, and the grotesque. His next book was A Nostalgists Map of America which published in 1991. The book relates a series of travels and throws light on his American home and memories of his boyhood in Kashmir
His next work, a poem published in 1997, was widely praised. The poem was originally called "Kashmir without a Post Office" but was published as the title poem in The Country without a Post Office. Through this poem, he expressed his love and concern for his people with the Kashmir conflict as backdrop. His Rooms Are Never Finished which published in 2001 too throws light on political tragedy. His last book was Call Me Ishmael Tonight. The book is a collection of English ghazals
. Apart from this, Ali compiled the volume Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English.
, who was a close friend of Ali, has written Ghat of the only world as a tribute to Ali.
Agha Shahid Ali breathed his last in December 2001. He was suffering from brain cancer
. He was buried in Northampton, Massachusetts.