Arise out of the Lock
50 Bangladeshi Women Poets in English
Translated by Nabina Das and curated by Alam Khorshed
“So often South Asian poetry feels to me like a body with severed limbs, all inaccessible to each other. This anthology is both healing of that and a recognition; with the very force of its thought and its omnivorous cosmopolitanism, it will defy every stereotype you try to bring to it. A project like this would be essential for any translator to take up, but as a poet Nabina Das goes beyond the call and makes it sing.”— Vivek Narayanan (Author of Life and Times of Mr S & Professor of Creative Writing, George Mason University)
“Deftly translated into an English with fittingly South Asian inflections, this timely anthology surprises and delights. Certain themes and imagery traditionally coded feminine, such as flowers and fabric, recur with surprising and thought-provoking variations in their treatment, while frequent references to characters from Islamic and Hindu mythology point to the lived experience of a shared cultural inheritance. Though demonstrating an impressive range, with poets based in Bangladesh and abroad, writing from the full 50 years since the country’s creation, this is clearly only a glimpse at a wealth of literature which, it is to be hoped, other publishers will now be inspired to seek out.”— Deborah Smith (Translator of The Vegetarian by Han Kang)
CONTENTS: Foreword by Sadaf Saaz; Curator’s Introduction; Translator’s Note; Poems by 50 Bangladeshi Women Poets: Sufia Kamal, Khaleda Edib Chowdhury, Anwara Syed Haq, Farida Majid, Meherun Nesa, Zeenat Ara Rafiq, Suraiya Khanum, Rubi Rahman, Kazi Rozi, Zarina Akhter, Shamim Azad, Nasreen Naim, Dilara Hafiz, Anjana Saha, Nurunnahar Shirin, Nasima Sultana, Shahjadi Anzuman Ara, Jharna Rahman, Taslima Nasrin, Rahima Akhter Kalpana, Ferdous Nahar, Bilora Chowdhury, Shahnaz Nasreen, Kochi Reza, Leesa Gazi, Shahnaz Munni, Shelly Naz, Nahar Monica, Aysa Jhorna, Shanta Maria, Megh Aditi, Monika Chakraborty, Alaka Nandita, Farhana Rahman, Junan Nashit, Nahida Ashrafi, Audity Falguni, Rahima Afrooz Munni, Novera Hossain, Jahanara Perveen, Shakira Parvin, Sabera Tabassum Asma Beethe, Nitu Purna, Asma Odhora, Afroja Shoma, Rimjhim Ahmed, Shafinur Shafin, Mahi Flora, and Shweta Shatabdi Esh.
About the Curator:
ALAM KHORSHED graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka and did his Post Graduate studies at Baruch College of City University of New York, USA. He worked for, among others, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals in Chittagong, and Canadian Aviation Electronics (CAE) in Montreal, Canada. He eventually returned to Bangladesh in 2004 to embrace his real passion: arts and literature. He is now engaged as a full-time writer, translator, critic and arts organizer. After successfully running a unique socio-cultural organization named “Bishaud Bangla” in Chittagong for nine years, he founded a new arts space called “Bistaar: Chittagong Arts Complex” in December 2014, and has been working as its Founding Director since. He has authored more than twenty books in Bengali, mostly works of translation and literary essays. Among them, the most notables are: translations of Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’; ‘Reflections’, an autobiographical book of Henry Miller; an anthology of poems of the Polish Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska; a book length conversation between the two great Argentine writers Jorge Louis Borges and Victoria Ocampo translated from the Spanish; ‘The Jaguar Smile’, the first work of non-fiction by Salman Rushdie, and ‘I Shall Marry When I Want’, a Play by the Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.
About the Translator:
NABINA DAS is the author of five books. Her poetry collections are Sanskarnama (Red River, 2017), Into the Migrant City (Writers Workshop, 2013), and Blue Vessel (Les Editions du Zaporogue, 2012). Her debut book is a novel titled Footprints in the Bajra (Cedar Books, 2010), and her short fiction volume is titled The House of Twining Roses: Stories of the Mapped and the Unmapped (LiFi Publications, 2014). A Rutgers-Camden MFA alumna, Nabina is the editor of WITNESS, poetry of Dissent (Red River, 2021), and co-editor of 40 under 40, an Anthology of Post-globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala, 2016). Nabina’s poems appear in Poetry (Poetry Foundation), Prairie Schooner, Indian Literature (National Academy of Letters), Caravan, Poetry at Sangam, The IndianQuarterly, Economic and Political Weekly, Dhaka Tribune, The Yellow Nib Anthology (Queens University, Belfast), and Six Seasons Review, among several others. Nabina is a 2017 Sahapedia-UNESCO fellow, a 2012 Charles Wallace Creative Writing alumna (Stirling University, Scotland), and a 2016 Commonwealth Writers features correspondent.Nabina has worked most recently as a teaching faculty, a journalist for 10 years, and also as media executive in NGOs and industry bodies like the CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), in the area of Gender, Development, Child Welfare, and Environment. She writes columns and commentaries for several newspapers and journals. Born and brought up in Guwahati, Assam, she is also a 2012 Sangam House, a 2011 NYS Summer Writers Institute, and a 2007 Wesleyan Writers Conference creative writing alumna. Nabina’s new poetry collection Anima and the Narrative Limits will appear in 2022 from Yoda Press.
Publication date: 21 February 2022
Format: Paperback 216mm x 138mm
Pages: 176 pp