Tarfia Faizullah

Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor of Creative Writing in Poetry at the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Co-director of the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press & Video Series. Author of “Seam” and “Register of Illuminated Villages” (forthcoming 2017).

Tarfia Faizullah explores the themes of violence, ethics, and identity through her vivid and powerful poetry. In her first book, Seam, Faizullah focuses on the history of the birangona—Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971. She received a Fulbright award to travel to Bangladesh to interview the birangoa. Seam, which U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey called “beautiful and necessary,” won the 2012 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, the 2015 VIDA Award, the Milton Kessler First Book Prize, and the GLCA New Writers’ Award. Faizullah has said, “I don’t believe that there is an art that can ever render something as unreasonable and as violent as human suffering. I tried to write a book that acknowledges the limitations of that rendering as much as it is helpless before those ‘images of the atrocious’ and the ways in which those images are forgotten even as they continue to haunt us.” Her second book, Register of Eliminated Villages, which won the Pushcart Prize and includes works touching on eradicated Iraqi villages, is due out in 2017.