Tarfia Faizullah

Award-winning Poet & Writer

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  • An Evening with Tarfia Faizullah

Biography

“This is a poetry of news–where brutality, desire, and beauty combine to form a rich testament of what poetry can do: to sing and disturb us awake, and leave us feeling more alive than ever before.” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil

“These poems open slowly, elegantly, cradling anger, compassion, and fear.”—NPR

“Faizullah is an essential poet for our times.” —The Rumpus

Tarfia Faizullah was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Bangladeshi immigrants and raised in Texas. She is the author of the two poetry collections Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf, 2018), which won the 2018 Writers’ League of Texas Book Award for Poetry; and Seam (SIU, 2014), winner of the Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and the Drake University Emerging Writers Award in 2015. About Seam, Natasha Trethewey said: “Why call any of it back? Tarfia Faizullah asks in her gorgeous and powerful debut collection, Seam. In poems made more harrowing for what’s not said–the poet’s elegant and wise restraint–we confront the past and its aftermath in the lives of women interrupted by violence and brutality and loss. It wasn’t enough light to see clearly by, she tells us, but I still turned my face toward it. Faizullah is a poet of brave and unflinching vision and Seam is a beautiful and necessary book.”

Faizullah’s writing is translated into Bengali, Persian, Chinese, and Tamil, and is part of the theater production Birangona: Women of War. In 2016, Faizullah was recognized by Harvard Law School as one of 50 Women Inspiring Change, and was a 2019 USA Artists Fellow. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, three Pushcart prizes, and other honors, she has presented at institutions and organizations worldwide. Faizullah’s work has been featured at the the Liberation War Museum of Bangladesh, the Library of Congress, the Fulbright Conference, the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, the Radcliffe Seminars, the Clinton School of Public Service, and elsewhere.

Her writing has appeared widely in the US and abroad in The Daily Star, BuzzFeed, Hindu Business Line, Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, The New Republic, The Nation, Oxford American, Poetry Magazine, and the Academy of American Poets, as well as in the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket, 2019), and the television show PBS News Hour.

She lives in Dallas, Texas.

Short Bio

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf, 2018) and Seam (SIU, 2014). Her writing has appeared widely in periodicals and magazines in the US and abroad and has been displayed at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere. Tarfia’s writing is translated into Spanish, Bengali, Persian, Chinese, Tamil, and other languages. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Bangladeshi immigrants and raised in Texas, Faizullah currently lives in Dallas.

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