Kamal Chowdhury: Selected Poems
By Kamal Chowdhury
With his unique style and prolific output addressing a diverse range of topics, Kamal Chowdhury enjoys a special place in the world of contemporary Bengali poetry. Over the past four decades, the poet has published sixteen volumes wherein he has skillfully explored poetry in all its forms. This collection presents an exclusive selection of his work, 125 poems taken from ten of his collections and translated into English by fellows of the Dhaka Translation Center at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.
The poems within are a discovery of the self and an exploration of joy and agony, fears and compulsions, life and death, man and nature. They will take readers on a journey encompassing the present as well as the past, across Bangladesh—its ordinary homes, paddyfields and riverbanks, cities and towns—and beyond, to the deserts of Egypt, the Kenyan savannah or some corner of Europe or North America.
Kamal Chowdhury was born in Comilla, Bangladesh in 1957. He did his Masters in Sociology and later obtained a PhD in Anthropology, both from the University of Dhaka.
Chowdhury’s journey into poetry began in the mid-seventies and by 1981 he had published his first collection, Michhiler Shoman Boyoshi (As Old as the Procession). Over the next three-and-a-half decades, he published a further fifteen volumes of poetry, including a book of poems for young adults. Two anthologies of his poems translated into English and a travel-diary were also published in this time.
Chowdhury’s contribution to Bengali poetry has been recognized through numerous awards, including the Rudra Padak 2000, Souharda Sammanana (West Bengal) 2003, Jibanananda Puroshkar 2008 and Bangla Academy Shahitya Puroshkar 2011. He is a fellow of Bangla Academy and a Life Member of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
A Bangladesh civil service officer of the top-most rank, Chowdhury lives in Dhaka with his wife and children.