Born in the Bedouin campsites of sixth-century Arabia, the ghazal might be the perfect poetic form to contain the homesick longing, cultural clashes, and surprise harmonies of today’s global community. Shadab Zeest Hashmi first encountered the form as a child in Pakistan, listening to popular Pakistani singers sing ghazals in Urdu on her parents’ LPs. Urdu, a mix of courtly Persian and folksy Hindavi, adopted the ghazal form early on. “The ghazal,” she writes, “not only allows contraries to cohabit but in the best compositions, it makes a demand to frame polarity in the same space.” from Reed College magazine
Shadab Zeest Hashmi is the author of Ghazal Cosmopolitan, Kohl & Chalk and Baker of Tarifa. Her poems have been translated into Spanish and Urdu, and published in journals and anthologies worldwide– most recently in McSweeney’s anthology of international poetry “In the Shape of a Human Body I am Visiting the Earth” ‘and “Aeolian Harp” (Glass Lyre Press). Her work has appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Poetry International, Wasafiri, The Cortland Review, Vallum, POEM, World Literature Today, Spillway, Atlanta Review, etc.