NYU Celebrates Publication of Agha Shahid Ali s The Veiled Suite with Special Poetry Readings, Feb. 27

In celebration of the publication of The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems of Agha Shahid Ali (W. W. Norton), New York University’s Creative Writing Program will host the fourth Agha Shahid Ali Memorial Reading on Friday, February 27, at 7 p.m. This special event takes place at the NYU Silver Center, Hemmerdinger Hall, 100 Washington Square East (at Waverly Place). It is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by W. W. Norton & Company.

The celebration features readings from Ali’s work by Nicholas Christopher, Michael Collier, Daniel Hall, Marie Ponsot, Grace Schulman, Tom Sleigh, Jean Valentine, and Chuck Wachtel, with an introduction by Ali’s brother Iqbal Agha and a graduate student reading by Solmaz Sharif.

The Veiled Suite is a testament to Ali’s writing career and a tribute to the poet who introduced the “ghazal” - a Persian poetic form - to an American audience. In his foreword, Daniel Hall says, “His poems sounded like no one else’s, no doubt because of the remarkable range and variety of his sources: the literatures of several continents; Bollywood, Hollywood, and art-house cinema; classical Indian and classical European music; and American pop.”

Ali was born in New Delhi and grew up in Kashmir. He was on the poetry faculty of the University of Utah and Warren Wilson College, taught at Hamilton College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and held visiting professorships at Princeton, NYU, and elsewhere. His collections of poetry include The Half-Inch Himalayas, A Walk Through the Yellow Pages, A Nostalgist’s Map of America, and in November 2001, Rooms Are Never Finished. He died in December 2001.

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