Basir Kazmi launched his bilingual book of poetry, ‘Passing Through’ – Hum Waha bhi Rahain. This Launch was part of the British Diasporic Literature in English and Vernaculars Conference, held at Manchester Central Library.
“Basir Sultan Kazmi’s poetry is distinguished by its craftsmanship, elegance and lyrical imagery. It is a poetry that is rooted in the richness of Urdu literary tradition, but also looks outwards to world literature. Many Urdu readers, already familiar with his work, will be delighted to see a collection that combines Basir’s ghazals with his nazms. For English readers, Passing Through illuminates the range of poetry penned by one of the finest contemporary poets in Urdu.” — Dr Debjani Chatterjee MBE
Basir Sultan Kazmi MBE
Born in Pakistan in 1953, Basir Sultan Kazmi is a poet in the ghazal tradition of his illustrious father, the late Nasir Kazmi. Basir taught English at the Government College Lahore where he also edited the literary magazine, Ravi. He undertook two Masters Degrees at Manchester University and was the news editor and reader for the BBC’s Asian Programme1990-91.
Basir has read widely in Britain, Pakistan, India, Middle East, Europe and USA. His Urdu poetry collections include, Mauj-e-Khayaal (1997, Maktaba-e-Khayal) and Chaman Koi Bhi Ho (2008, Classic), a play, Bisaat (1987, Maktaba-e-Khayal) and Bisaat’s translation, The Chess Board (1997, Penine Pens). English translations of Basir’s poems have appeared in several magazines and anthologies. Basir has also written extensively on the life and poetry of his father.
In 1992, Basir won a North West Playwrights Workshops Award. His plays have appeared at such venues as Greater Manchester’s Contact Theatre, Green Room, Octagon Bolton and Oldham Colesium and Liverpool’s Unity Theatre.
His poem, ‘Taking Time’, selected by the Poems for the Waiting Room project (2001), was displayed in UK hospitals and clinics. One of his couplets, with English translation (The true-hearted can settle – no matter which land. A flower wants to bloom, wherever its garden), was carved in stone and installed at McKenzie Square Slough, UK in 2008. Basir was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours List 2013 for Services to Literature as a Poet.