M. Shahid Alam
I was born in Dhaka, where my family had emigrated from India; we had to leave during the civil war of 1971 that created an independent Bangladesh. Urdu is my first language, but (thanks to the British) not the language in which I think and write. I have kept my Bengali alive, and some friends from Dhaka say it has improved. I began translating Ghalib when I was in college but then my poetry was swamped by that dismal science: economics. After many years, I went back to translating Ghalib, not letting my colleagues in economics know about my secret life as a poet. Some of these translations have appeared (or will appear) in Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. Now if only I could convince a book publisher that there is money to be made from a book of Ghalib translations.