Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Shadab Zeest Hashmi is a Pakistani-American poet and essayist whose works have been published worldwide. She is the winner of numerous awards and distinctions, including the San Diego Book Award, Sable’s Hybrid Book Prize, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize, and multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize. She earned her MFA from Warren Wilson Program for Writers, and a BA in English (Creative Writing) from Reed College. Her books include two poetry collections Kohl and Chalk and Baker of Tarifa, a volume of essays and poetry titled Ghazal Cosmopolitan which has been praised by Marilyn Hacker as “a marvelous interweaving of poetry, scholarship, literary criticism and memoir.” Comb, her latest book, is a lyric memoir selected by Julia Bouwsma (the Poet Laureate of the state of Maine) as the Best Hybrid Book 2019. Zeest Hashmi’s poetry has been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Bosnian and Urdu, and has appeared in numerous international anthologies and journals, most recently in McSweeney’s In the Shape of a Human Body I am Visiting the Earth, Hybrid Tapestries, New Moons and The Best Asian Poetry 2021.

She has taught in the MFA program at San Diego State University as a writer-in-residence and her work has been included in the Language Arts curriculum for grades 7-12 (Asian American and Pacific Islander Women Poets) as well as college courses in Creative Writing and the Humanities. 

New Edition Out Now!

Available for readers in Pakistan.

Book Endorsements

I thoroughly enjoyed Comb. Shadab Zeest Hashmi is a magnificent writer.
…it is in fact a stunning book of motherhood, a story Zeest Hashmi tells to her children about our world, our ravaged, beautiful, helpless, inspiring world.
Al Andalus–a unique cultural convergence in human time where myth hovers the way moths are drawn to lampshine, and in her luminous, spare language, Shadab Zeest Hashmi catches its essence: attar of memory, the perfume of peace, sweet rising dough of dailiness; at the end, smoke rising, the reek of war, useless keys, exile, sorrow distilled and deepened by the presence–in these deeply felt, lovely poems–of what feels newly lost.
A marvelous interweaving of poetry, scholarship, literary criticism and memoir…
“…a celebration of, and a love letter to, the language of the world…”
Kohl and Chalk is at once breathtaking and invigorating. The sensuality of almonds, cardamom, lapis lazuli, and Chantilly lace is undergirded by a generous cosmopolitanism. Aubades, ghazals, windows, and columbine are connective tissue binding this poet to the late great Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali. Yet Hashmi’s bilingual voice is entirely her own, echoing through the Hindu Kush, Lahore, and an earlier Pakistan of the Jinnah family, also taking in India, Afghanistan, Thailand, the US, and Paris. In the words of the poet, ‘my soul mercuries and lifts itself’ in the presence of such virtuosity and heart.

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4 May '24

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31 March '24

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