Waqas Khwaja

Modern Poetry of Pakistan

The first anthology of its kind to appear in English, Modern Poetry of Pakistan brings together not one but many poetic traditions indigenous to Pakistan, with 148 poems translated from seven major languages, six of them regional (Baluchi, Kashmiri, Panjabi, Pashto, Seraiki, and Sindhi) and one national (Urdu). Collecting the work of forty-two poets and fifteen translators, this book reveals a society driven by ethnic, class, and political differences—but also a beautiful and truly national literature, with work both classical and modern, belonging to the same culture and sharing many of the same concerns and perceptions.

Waqas Khwaja is a Professor of English at Agnes Scott College where he teaches courses in Victorian and Romantic poetry, Narratives of Empire, Gothic literature, Postcolonial Studies, and Creative Writing. He has a Ph.D. in Victorian Fiction from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, and an LL.B. from Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan. He has published three collections of poetry, No One Waits for the Train (2007), Six Geese from a Tomb at Medum (1987), and Mariam’s Lament (1992), in addition to a literary travelogue, Writers and Landscapes (1991), about his experiences as a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 1988, and three anthologies of Pakistani literature in translation, Cactus (1986), Mornings in the Wilderness (1988), and Short Stories from Pakistan (1991). A regular columnist for and contributor to The Frontier Post, The Pakistan Economic Review, The Pakistan Times, News International, The Nation, and The Friday Times between 1983 and 1992, he was a practicing lawyer and visiting professor of law in Pakistan before he emigrated to the U.S. in 1994 to pursue an academic career in literature. He has published scholarly articles on writers from a variety of linguistic and cultural traditions and on literary, cultural, and political issues. An anthology of Pakistani poetry, titled Modern Poetry of Pakistan, a National Endowment of the Arts project, showcasing the work of forty-four prominent Pakistani poets from its seven language traditions, for which he has served as translation editor as well as a contributing translator, will be published by Dalkey Archive Press in January 2011. He has guest-edited the forthcoming special issue on Pakistani Literature for the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies and has contributed numerous scholarly articles to academic journals and publications.


The Savannah Book Festival is a non-profit organization that hosts an annual, weekend-long festival of the written and spoken word, February 18-20, 2011. It remains free and open to the public at Telfair Square, in the Historic District of Savannah, Ga.


This author’s appearance at the 2011 festival has been graciously sponsored by:

  • Dr. and Mrs. Mark and Inge Moore