Mir Mahfuz Ali is an exceptional new voice in British Poetry.
A native of what is now Bangladesh, Mahfuz grew up during the difficult period of the early 1970s when the region was struck, first by a devastating cyclone, then by a particularly vicious civil war. As a boy, Mahfuz witnessed atrocities and writes about them with a searing directness in poems like ‘My Salma’ and the title poem. But much more than this, his trauma becomes transformative, and his poetry the key to unlocking memories of a childhood that are rich in nuance, gorgeous in detail and evocative of a beautiful country. They celebrate the human capacity for love, survival and renewal.
Mir Mahfuz Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1958 and moved to the UK in the 1970s. He is renowned for his extraordinary voice: a rich, throaty whisper brought about by a bullet in the throat fired by a Bangladeshi policeman trying to silence the singing of anthems during a public anti-war demonstration. He has given readings and performances at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as well on BBC Newsnight Review, Radio 4, and the World Service. His poetry has appeared in London Magazine, Poetry London, and Poetry Review. His influences include Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and Jibananda Das (1899-1954).