Asadullah Khan Ghalib, the last great poet of the Mughal era, is to this day one of the most important and influential poets of the Urdu language worldwide.

Ghalib wrote ghazals in both Persian and Urdu which were, either lavishly praised by his contemporaries or, attacked for being too cerebral. However the appreciation of his genius continues to grow and his poetry, with its recurring themes of love, mysticism, life as pain and death as release, resonates to this day.

This event, introduced and hosted by Leeds based poet Ishtiaq Mir, will briefly introduce Ghalib’s colourful life and consider his importance as a poet, illustrated with readings of his poetry. Then our modern day poets will offer responses to his work with recitations of their own poetry, linking their contemporary voices with the sub-continent’s poetic heritage.

In keeping with Ghalib’s life and era, there is also an optional dress code: celebrate the man and his work by donning your most regal, Mughal-themed garb.

About The Poets

Ambreen Haseeb Ambar

Ambreen Haseeb Ambar is an emerging poet, who has enriched Urdu language with new and innovative ideas and thoughts. Along with poetry, she has written a number of critical essays and literary features.  She has also worked on social issues regarding the young generation.

Mehjabeen Ghazal Ansari

Mehjabeen Ghazal Ansari is a notable Urdu poet, widely published in her mother tongue. She recites her poetry in traditional melodious tarannum style. She is founder of the Yorkshire Adabee Forum, which promotes literature in the Urdu language.

Tahir Faraz

Tahir Faraz, also known as Intikhab Husain, was born in the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh in 1953. A ghazal poet, he has been carrying on the legacy of ghazal for the last forty years and spreading it all over the globe. Tahrir is a poet who takes his listeners on a rollercoaster of emotions when he recites his ghazals, nazms & geets. His soft compositions (Tarannum) during ghazal recitals make him unique from others.

Rehana Roohi

Rehana Roohi is one of Pakistan’s most popular contemporary poets. She uses the ghazal poetic form and recites her poetry in the traditional, melodious tarannum style.

Sudeep Sen

Sudeep Sen is a poet, translator, artist and editor, recognised as one of India’s finest younger poets. He has published more than a dozen collections of poetry including ‘Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems’, ‘Distracted Geographies’, ‘Lines of Desire’ and ‘Aria’ which won the A.K. Ramanujan Translation Award. His new collection ‘Erotext: Desire, Disease, Delusion, Dream, Downpour’ is out now.

Atif Tauqeer

Atif Tauqeer is a journalist working with Deutsche Welle Radio. His Urdu poetry, which has been published in several collections, is often charged with frustration at the political situation in his home country of Pakistan. He is currently working on his first English novel.

Ishtiaq Mir

Ishtiaq Mir is a poet and author. He is also one of the six founding members of the Yorkshire Adabee Forum, an organisation that focuses on organising literary events and activities in Urdu as well as incorporating other languages.