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Agha Shahid Ali
|Renowned Kashmiri poet, Agha Shahid Ali, 52, died at his New York residence on 8 December after protracted illness. He was suffering from brain tumour. His father Agha Ashraf Ali, himself a distinguished educationist, was by his side when the end came.
Shahid Ali was born in New Delhi on February 4, 1949. He grew up Muslim in Kashmir, and was later educated at the University of Kashmir, Srinagar, and 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. His volumes of poetry include Rooms Are Never Finished (W.W. Norton & Co., 2001), The Country Without a Post Office (1997) [a passionate poetic recreation of agony in present-day Kashmir], The Beloved Witness: Selected Poems (1992), A Nostalgist's Map of America (1991), A Walk Through the Yellow Pages (1987), The Half-Inch Himalayas (1987), In Memory of Begum Akhtar and Other Poems (1979), and Bone Sculpture (1972). He is also the author of T. S. Eliot as Editor (1986), translator of The Rebel's Silhouette: Selected Poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1992), and editor of Ravishing Disunities: Real Ghazals in English (2000).
Ali received fellowships from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation and was awarded a Pushcart Prize. He held teaching positions at the University of Delhi, Penn State, SUNY Binghamton, Princeton University, Hamilton College, Baruch College, University of Utah, and Warren Wilson College. Considered to be a prominent English poet of modern times, Agha won many
international prizes and honours. q
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